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It’s difficult not to dwell in mid-century American nostalgia in remembering Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, who almost single-handedly ushered in a revival of bel canto opera. But so much more; the Australian dramatic coloratura soprano, dubbed as La Stupenda after her 1960 performance of Händel’s Alcina, was known for her magnificent flexibility and technique, her incredible range and her devotion to the performance as an organic whole. Dame Sutherland passed near her home in Montrieux, Switzerland on the evening of Sunday, October 10, at the age of 84. She is survived by a husband, son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

—Sudeep Agarwala