An authorized biography of the opera legend includes details about her childhood in Australia, her struggle to achieve success, and her career as a great soprano, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at her great performances
Joan Sutherland's operatic triumphs have thrilled and delighted millions of listeners around the world. Now, in the definitive biography of this exceptional singer - written with the cooperation of Joan Sutherland herself - Norma Major brings the incomparable diva to life: her birth in Sydney, Australia, to a family that cultivated her love of music throughout her childhood (at the age of three she was already familiar with arias from Les Huguenots and Lucrezia Borgia); the loss of her father in a tragic accident on her sixth birthday; her anonymous debut in Sydney's Town Hall at the age of twenty; the struggles and disappointments of her study at the Royal College of Music in London; her marriage to the distinguished musician Richard Bonynge, and his profound impact on the course of her life and work; and finally, her brilliant career as one of this century's great sopranos.Ten years of careful research, along with extensive interviews with Joan Sutherland and her husband, have produced a biography of unparalleled depth and scope, a thorough and revealing record of an extraordinary life. From London's Covent Garden to the Sydney Opera House to the Met in New York, Major takes the reader backstage, offering rare insights into the colorful, often ruthlessly competitive world of international opera. With an emphasis on key roles in Joan Sutherland's development - notably the singer's legendary appearances in Lucia di Lammennoor and Alcina, now among the most venerated performances of all time - Major depicts the ordeals and the triumphs, both onstage and off, of a woman who overcame personal hardship and professional obstacles to dazzle audiences worldwide for more than forty years. Major also provides a complete catalogue of performances, a previously unpublished history of Joan Sutherland's career, and a comprehensive discography sure to delight both new listeners and seasoned fans.