RIP Joan Sutherland

We were saddened to hear about the death of the famous Australian soprano Joan Sutherland last week, at the age of 83. She was known for her big voice and mastery of bel canto repertoire. I first heard her by accident, on a recording of the works of Elgar, which I loved for Jacqueline Du Pre’s playing of the Cello Concerto. Anyway, on that same disc, you can hear Sutherland singing Elgar’s “Sea Pictures,” a lovely introspective and quite modern-sounding suite of songs. A biography of Sutherland is available in Grove Music Online, and you can stream recordings of Sutherland singing with Luciano Pavarotti, with Sutherland’s husband Richard Bonynge conducting, in Naxos Music Library online.