Sutherland and Bonynge: An Intimate Biography

Quaintance Eaton, Author Dodd Mead $21.95 (331p) ISBN 978-0-396-08945-2
In this biography of ""La Stupenda,'' a well-known American writer on opera draws on her own acquaintance with Joan Sutherland and her conductor-husband, ``Ricky'' Bonynge. ``Tall, clumsy and awkward,'' a slow learner with a bad memory, constantly suffering from a sinus condition, the Australian soprano had little acting ability to go with her fabulous voice, but under Bonynge's tutelage she began singing coloratura roles in the bel canto tradition, enlarged her repertory and comprehension, and achieved world-wide recognition. Eaton depicts a frugal, down-to-earth woman, now a 61-year-old grandmother, amazingly lacking in vanity, who never tires of singing and whose vocal cords have been pronounced fit and healthy for at least another 15 years. She also reveals the different temperaments of husband and wife and the nature of their unswerving partnership. A personal and lively book, but it lacks a catalogue of performances and detailed discography. Photos not seen by PW. (October)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
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