Tributes paid to superstar soprano Joan Sutherland

Tuesday October 12, 2010

Dame Joan Sutherland, one of the most celebrated operatic sopranos of the 20th century, has died at the age of 83.

In a statement, her family said she had "passed away very peacefully in the evening of October 10 at her home in Switzerland after a long illness".

"She's had a long life and gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people," they added.

The Australian star, who leaves behind an extraordinary musical legacy, retired from the stage 20 years ago.

Dame Joan, who was dubbed La Stupenda because of her vocal range, made her debut in London's Convent Garden in 1952.

She was a friend and mentor to Luciano Pavarotti who once described her as having "the voice of the century".

The pair (pictured in 2006) toured round Australia together in the 1960s, and Joan's final operatic stage performance in opera was alongside the late Italian tenor.

In 1961 she received a Grammy for best classical performer of the year and in 1979 was appointed a Dame.

Photo: © Getty Images

  • <
  • Tributes paid to superstar soprano Joan Sutherland

  • >
  • 3 of 6