Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE (7 November 1926 - 10 October 2010) was an Australian dramatic coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s. One of the most remarkable female opera singers of the 20th century, she was dubbed La Stupenda by a La Fenice audience in 1960 after a performance of the title role in Handel's Alcina. She possessed a voice of beauty and power, combining extraordinary agility, accurate intonation, "supremely" pinpoint staccatos, a splendid trill and a tremendous upper register, although music critics often complained about the imprecision of her diction. Her friend Luciano Pavarotti once called Sutherland the "Voice of the Century"; Montserrat Caballé described the Australian's voice as being like "heaven"...
Lyrics & English Translation
Don Octavio, oh help me!
What disturbs thee?
I cannot comprehend it yet!
My dearest, say, what hath happened?
Oh, heaven! Oh, heaven!
That was the murderer of my dear Father!
What say'st thou?
No longer can I doubt - his words at parting -
His soft and honey'd voice - all bring before me,
Past the chance of a doubt,
The vile intruder, who dar'd into my chamber.
Heav'n, is't possible,
That 'neath the sacred mantle of long friendship...
But proceed, the whole, oh, tell me,
Of this dark adventure.
Shadows of midnight all around me were gathered;
In my own quiet chamber
By misadventure and dreaming,
When all at once there came in, wrapp'd in a mantle,
A man, whom for the moment I had taken for thee.
But soon I had discovered
How great was my error!
Silent he drew near me,
And my hand would caress,
Quick I withdrew it, and then he seized me... I struggled;
No one was near, one hand upon my mouth he placed,
My screaming to stifle, with the other he press'd me
Close in his grasp - I scarcely could resist him.
Miscreant! And then?
At last my dread,
My horror of the bastardly ruffian lent strength
Unwonted for the moment,
I struggled with tortuous writhings fearfully,
With an effort I flung him from me.
Oh, joy! That sav'd thee!
Aloud then I clamour'd for assistance,
Call'd on the household, he sought to fly,
But boldly I pursued him into the street,
That we might trace him,
(Becoming of my assailant assailer,)
'Twas there that my father straight-way challeng'd him,
And the villain, by whose strength he was easily overpower'd,
Stay'd not his guilty madness, gave him the deathblow.
The wretch now thou knowest,
Who sought my betraying,
And vengeance thou owest
My father's, my father's foul slaying.
For justice I sue thee;
I ask of thy troth, I ask of thy troth.
Remember when wounded,
His lifeblood was flowing,
He heard not, he heard not my crying,
My heart will be riven,
If thou break thy oath.
DON OTTAVIO - Nicolai Gedda
A link to this wonderful artists personal Website:
I send my kind and warm regards,