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Joan Sutherland Paperback – June 21, 2013

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Joan Sutherland's operatic triumphs have thrilled and delighted millions of listeners around the world. Now, in the definitive biography of this exceptional singer - written with the cooperation of Joan Sutherland herself - Norma Major brings the incomparable diva to life: her birth in Sydney, Australia, to a family that cultivated her love of music throughout her childhood (at the age of three she was already familiar with arias from Les Huguenots and Lucrezia Borgia); the loss of her father in a tragic accident on her sixth birthday; her anonymous debut in Sydney's Town Hall at the age of twenty; the struggles and disappointments of her study at the Royal College of Music in London; her marriage to the distinguished musician Richard Bonynge, and his profound impact on the course of her life and work; and finally, her brilliant career as one of this century's great sopranos. Ten years of careful research, along with extensive interviews with Joan Sutherland and her husband, have produced a biography of unparalleled depth and scope, a thorough and revealing record of an extraordinary life. From London's Covent Garden to the Sydney Opera House to the Met in New York, Major takes the reader backstage, offering rare insights into the colorful, often ruthlessly competitive world of international opera. With an emphasis on key roles in Joan Sutherland's development - notably the singer's legendary appearances in Lucia di Lammennoor and Alcina, now among the most venerated performances of all time - Major depicts the ordeals and the triumphs, both onstage and off, of a woman who overcame personal hardship and professional obstacles to dazzle audiences worldwide for more than forty years.Major also provides a complete catalogue of performances, a previously unpublished history of Joan Sutherland's career, and a comprehensive discography sure to delight both new listeners and seasoned fans.

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing (June 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909609757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909609754
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,912,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good read for all who love Joan Sutherland.
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