on 12 September 2008
Whatever comes along from the JS stable we have to treasure as she was an incredible performer for such a long time. It is unfortunate we don't have many DVD's of her work in the 60's & 70's when she was obviously at her very peak but glimpses of anything are better than nothing. Careers come and go so quickly now but this DVD is a reminder of why she was so popular and successful for so long. Having a reputation for being our Joanie but at the same time never suffering fools, she was a diva in the true sense of the word. Could actually have watched for longer, I'm sure they could have found more material, never mind, see this it's excellent!!
Joan Sutherland was an amazing coloratura soprano and one of the great voices of the last century. Thanks to her advocacy, in large part, the bel canto repertoire was seen in a new light and taken much more seriously, which is our gain. She was particularly associated with Lucia di Lammermoor, which we hear a lot about here, and also La Fille du Regiment, Norma, and Alcina. This documentary interviews a number of people who worked with her, key among whom was her husband Richard Bonynge. It seems very likely that without him she would never have come to prominence, as she was far from confident, and he was an inspired guide, steering her away from a life as a Rhinemaiden that seemed to be the shape of things to come. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but when you can sing Bellini like she can, the tresses should be loosened and you should do that, surely ... it's almost an obligation, unless circumstances stand in the way. The film shows a number of clips, montages of footage, and still photos from the early days. What also comes across, apart from her marvellous singing, is how nice she was. You can see this within a couple of seconds of hearing her speak, and other singers, including Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes and June Anderson all pay tribute to her in a way that comes from the heart. You can tell it has nothing of saying the expected thing for the camera. Hers was a model of a life where, with the right encouragement, things can turn out right, and the world is a better place for it.
on 6 November 2014
This had so much exciting information to be found since reading Russell Braddon's biography and discovering Sutherland in the 1960's.
I went in search of the Lucia, that Domingo mentions and on that site found a wonder of recordings of Live events including a dvd of one of the Operas that I had seen in Sydney which was only done afterwards as a radio broadcast. A most exciting afternoon was spent seeing this production once again. This is a Definite for a fan or collector.
on 25 March 2012
I found this DVD quite fascinating. I had only ever seen Sutherland in concert, this was the first time I had listened to her being interviewed. I wish there could have been more of the "personal interview", because the DVD does concentrate rather too much in my opinion on her early days in opera and it would have been even better if we had seen more of her talking about her life in opera. However, I am glad I made the purchase.