Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Joan Sutherland – "Spargi d'amaro pianto"

Coloratura soprano Joan Sutherland, one of the great bel canto singers, died last week. The New York Times has an excellent obituary. Her most famous role was probably Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, which has a famous, showcase mad scene. (As we've covered before, mad scenes were all the rage in 19th Century opera.). As the video's narrator explains, this is the final section of that scene. This 1972 performance has better audio than most of the other clips available. This Who's Afraid of Opera? version has low audio, but is more complete. Meanwhile, this 1988 version has slightly muddy audio, but does feature the lengthy ovation she received at the end, which was likely not only for that performance, but for her entire career - she was in her early 60s at the time and retired shortly thereafter. The Wikipedia entry linked above lists and/or links her extensive discography, and her pairings with Luciano Pavarotti are especially worthwhile. RIP.

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