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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 17407

Dame Joan Sutherland

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/10/2010

Release Type: Arts, Culture & Sport

Transcript ID: 17407

The Prime Minister today joined Australians around the nation to mourn the death of Dame Joan Sutherland - a great Australian and one of the nation's greatest voices.

Dame Joan Sutherland died peacefully at the age of 83 with her family by her side in Switzerland.

Dame Joan will be remembered by opera lovers for her extraordinary performances that kept audiences around the world spellbound.

She was widely regarded as one of the finest opera singers of the 20th century, so much so that Luciano Pavarotti once described her as 'the voice of the century'.

The Prime Minister said it was right for the nation to also celebrate the life of Dame Joan who made a tremendous contribution to her nation, to opera and the arts.

Dame Joan touched the lives of so many people around the world, yet never lost sight of her Australian upbringing and her many admirers at home.

She was generous in teaching and supporting new generations of singers and musicians, and until recently could be seen in the audiences of productions in Australia.

The Prime Minister offered her condolences to her husband Richard, son Adam and their extended family at this difficult time.

Born in Sydney in 1926, Dame Joan made her British debut in the Magic Flute in October 1952. Her 40 year career included a 19 minute standing ovation for her performance in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in 1959.

She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1979 a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1975, Australian of the Year in 1961 and received an Order of Merit in 1991.

Transcript 17407