Australian opera legend Dame Joan Sutherland was hailed as “La Stupenda” and “voice of the century” on Tuesday after she died following an illness aged 83, leaving behind an extraordinary musical legacy.
Lavish tributes poured in for the star, who dazzled European audiences with her vocal range and ability from the 1950s until her retirement in 1990, after her family announced her death at her Swiss home on the shores of Lake Geneva.
“The family of Dame Joan Sutherland... wishes to let all her friends and admirers know that she passed away very peacefully in the evening of October 10 at her home in Switzerland after a long illness,” said a family statement. Dame Sutherland, in poor health after a fall, is survived by her husband, Australian conductor Richard Bonynge, her son Adam and two grandchildren. She had risen from obscure roots in Sydney, where she was born to a tone deaf father and music-loving mother in 1926.