In the final public program of its 75th anniversary season, the Metropolitan Opera Guild pays tribute to one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th century: Dame Joan Sutherland, who died last October at the age of 83. “Stupenda! A Loving Tribute to Dame Joan Sutherland” will take place at New York City’s Town Hall on Tuesday, May 17, at 7:30pm. Marilyn Horne, a legend in her own right and one of Dame Joan’s most cherished colleagues and friends, will host the all-star celebration. Joining her to speak will be five other great Met stars: Martina Arroyo, Sherrill Milnes, James Morris, Samuel Ramey, and Regina Resnik. Richard Bonynge, renowned conductor and widower of Dame Joan, will be the evening’s special guest, offering his own reminiscences of his extraordinary wife. The evening will include the screening of a new video biography of Dame Joan, as well as a generous sampling of video clips from her greatest performances, many of them rare selections from the personal archives of Maestro Bonynge.
The impact of Dame Joan Sutherland on the world of opera can hardly be overestimated. Born in Sydney, Australia on November 7, 1926, Sutherland became a seminal figure in the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire. Her voice possessed remarkable qualities: power, beauty, precision, and agility. Luciano Pavarotti, the soprano’s long-time partner in numerous opera productions, concerts, and recordings, called hers “The Voice of the Century.”
Dame Joan and Richard Bonynge met when they were students, marrying in 1954. Throughout her life, she credited Maestro Bonynge with the establishment of her career, since it was he who persuaded her to eschew Wagnerian and similar repertoire for music that would showcase her dazzling technique and penetrating high notes. With his guidance and support, Sutherland went on to become one of the greatest dramatic coloratura sopranos of this or any era. Maestro Bonynge’s reminiscences of his wife will offer singular insights into an incomparable artistic and personal partnership, adding his unique perspective to what already promises to be an emotionally charged evening.
“Stupenda! A Loving Tribute to Dame Joan Sutherland” is sponsored by BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Like all of the Guild’s public programs, its proceeds will benefit the organization’s music education programs.
Tickets will be sold exclusively by the Guild. They are available online at www.metguild.org, and by telephone at (212) 769-7009.
“Stupenda! A Loving Tribute to Dame Joan Sutherland”
Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30pm
The Town Hall in New York City
123 West 43rd Street
Regular tickets (program only): $40 to Guild members and Met patrons; $50 to general public
Priority tickets (includes priority seating for the program and admission to an artists’ reception): $150
For tickets, call (212) 769-7009, or visit metguild.org/guild/templates/PublicPrograms.aspx?TM=9menuid=109.