Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bonus Camp Explosion: Birthday Stupenda

It was Dame Joan Sutherland's birthday earlier this week (November 7), and I felt badly about missing it, not least because of the marvelous treat you have in store, just after the jump...

I'm not ashamed to say I idolize La Stupenda, the Pride of New South Wales.  Her kind of singing is, at the moment, rather out of fashion, as is, more generally, the kind of diva that she was.  We like, I'm told, our singers more introspective these days, more convincing in the part (i.e., not as large, and Dame J. was undeniably a large lady), more attentive to little details like consonants.

Well, I pay that no never mind, not when faced with a voice of the force and titanic beauty that was hers.  I'm equally pleased that she was so catholic in her repertoire, as likely to toss off a recital album of the sentimental songs of her youth as of the great bel canto arias.  Most of all, I'm glad that, at a time when many singers would have thought the genre a little unsuited to their dignity, she sang operetta.  Because, you see, she sang the hell out of operetta.

Which brings us to this, which I hope you will use to brighten your day today and whenever in the future you need to know, just for a moment, what the exact sound of utter and inviolable self confidence is.  It's all great, but you'll see what I mean when I tell you that there really is nothing on earth quite like the first 90 seconds.

There.  In the immortal words of the B-52s, don't that make you feel a whole lot better?


  1. Thank you. I needed that.

  2. "I always knew that I just wasn't cut out for a 15-year-old Madam Butterfly or a consumptive Mimi." - Joan Sutherland

    She was marvellous. RIP Jx