Joan Sutherland's landmark recital, The Art of the Prima Donna, set the standard by which other sopranos continue to be judged. The history making 1960 performance from Kingsway Hall in London, England included arias by Arne, Handel, Bellini, Rossini, Gounod, Mozart, Verdi, Delibes, Thomas and Meyerbeer.
Sutherland is wonderfully British in her poised rendering of the opening work, Arne's coloratura aria "The Soldier Tir'd," and in Handel's jubilatory "Let The Bright Seraphim." But she earned her honorary title 'La Stupenda' by singing Italian repertoire. With utmost ease, agility and remarkable clarity in the top register, her voice gets right to the heart of bel canto. One of the most exquisite and beautiful roles is demonstrated in the demanding aria "Casta Diva" from Bellini's Norma, here sung in the original key.
The Art of the Prima Donna still stands out like a shining star in the firmament of virtuoso song repertoire and the world of grand opera to this very day. Pressed on 180-gram heavyweight double vinyl at Optimal with original artwork and a voucher for a full download of the album.
Arne / Handel / Bellini / Rossini / Gounod / Mozart / Verdi / Delibes / Thomas / Meyerbeer, composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, conductor
Joan Sutherland, vocals
Royal Opera House Orchestra & Chorus