Dame Joan Sutherland, known fondly as "The Stupendous One" and one of the most admired sopranos of the 20th century has died in Switzerland, The Associated Press reports.
Sutherland was given the name "La Stupenda" after her Italian debut in 1960, The New York Times reports. The name endured. According to the AP, she was acclaimed from her native Australia to North America and Europe for the wide range of roles she took on during a career that spanned four decades.
Australia's The Age says Sutherland was first taught to sing by her mother before studying more formally. She made her stage debut in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in Sydney before moving on to international venues. Sutherland sang at most of the world's major opera houses and became as famous as her Australian predecessor, Dame Nellie Melba.
Sutherland retired from the stage nearly two decades ago. She is survived by her husband, pianist and conductor Richard Bonynge.
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