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Joan Sutherland [Paperback]

Norma Major

RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

21 Jun 2013
A revised biography of the soprano Joan Sutherland. The possessor of the voice that has thrilled millions was first trained in her birthplace Sydney, Australia and after struggles and disappointments at the Royal College of Music, London, was dramatically transformed into an outstanding operatic phenomenon. It was the crucial role of Richard Bonynge, Joan Sutherland's husband and a distinguished musician in his own right, that steered her towards the coloratura roles that have made her so famous. Norma Major's book is full of insights into the colourful, competitive world of opera, and the particular exigencies of her subject's voice and personality. She also emphasises the key roles in Joan Sutherland's development, such as Lucia di Lammermoor, whether sung at Covent Garden, the Met, the Sydney Opera House or at one of the numerous other locations where the diva has been acclaimed. Of special interest is the catalogue of performances, which provides a previously unpublished documentary record of Joan Sutherland's career, spanning over thirty years, and the complete discography. Norma Major researched this book with Joan Sutherland's co-operation for ten years, and it is a thorough and revealing record of a truly dazzling singer: Dame Joan Sutherland - La Stupenda.

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About the Author

Norma Major was born in Shropshire and has spent most of her life in London and Huntingdon. A recording of Rigoletto first drew her attention to Joan Sutherland; she found her voice unbelievably beautiful and more satisfying than any other, and eventually she began compiling a catalogue of the diva’s performances. As she accumulated material a full-scale biography began taking shape, and this book is the end product of ten years of research and liaison with Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge. Norma Major is married to former Prime Minister John Major. They have two children.

Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised - Irresistible 16 July 2013
By Elizabeth Wallace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So delighted to see a "new" biography endorsed by my heroine (copyright 2013) that I ordered it without blinking! Surprise! It is actually the same book written by Norma Major (wife of Prime Minister John Major) in 1994: an opportunity to present the book in Kindle format with a new cover and "Look Inside" potential. (I did wonder, why the delay in publication, as our beloved Sutherland passed 10/10/10.)

The book is much like a scrap book with dates, performances, people, conductors, managers, places, roles, and chronicles of a wondrous career. But I was left thirsting for a bit of yin to balance the yang: conflict, resolution, contrast, balance. Joan may not have been complex, but her husband, Richard, certainly is and without him there would have been no her, at least not as the world came to know her, for he was certainly the wind beneath her wings. The book could have dug so much deeper.

And there are the records (or absence thereof): my first passion with the voice of Joan Sutherland, and hence of opera, was listening to a neighbors double record album, "The Art of the Prima Donna." The making of this album, which changed my life and made the Sutherland name a "household word" (in households that opened their doors and their hearts to such beauty), is not even mentioned; although its creation helped to bring the world to her feet: for Ms Sutherland was the most recorded opera singer of the 20th century. Neither are her rare recordings of Puccini and Wagner even mentioned (the most beautiful and pure tone in such "heavy" and demanding roles.)

Nevertheless, the book continues to be an exceptional effort in honor of an exceptional woman.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want more 23 Sep 2013
By George Higginbotham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thank you Mrs Major for this biography. I was enthralled with it from start to finish. Please, please revise the epilogue to include Dame Joan's last years. It would be lovely to know how she spent her post retirement years. I believe I saw a picture of you with Dame Sutherland at Holland Park celebrating Maestro Bonyge's 80th birthday. This was shortly before she passed away.

What has taken place I these last years since her death.

I have loaded my IPhone with Sutherland.
3.0 out of 5 stars Re John Sutherland biografy 11 May 2014
By C.A.M.Whitley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To much about her career, all her concerts were mentioned. Not much about her personal life dring her career and after
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