Posts Tagged ‘Joan Sutherland’
A grand piece of Australia’s operatic history is now to be sold – the childhood home of DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND.
The property has just been advertised on the website of Bickmore-Hutt Realty’s Edgecliff Office and reads as follows:
Imagine 803sqm of prime residential land in the heart of prestigious Queen Street, Woollahra. Incorporating a dilapidated two storey heritage cottage that was once the childhood home of Dame Joan Sutherland, this amazing offering presents an incredible opportunity to restore a piece of history and, create a mansion in a prized location.
* Sensational residential 803sqm block of land in the heart of prestigious Queen Street
* This unique site incorporates a heritage cottage once the childhood home of Dame Joan Sutherland
* Incredible opportunity to create a fabulous lifestyle mansion in a prized location
* Enjoying a coveted location 15 minutes from the City and Bondi Beach
* Cafes, gourmet deli’s, galleries, shops and fashion boutiques at your door
* Short walk to preferred schools, Centennial Park, Oxford Street and Bondi Junction
Such a shame to see this piece of Australia’s operatic history sold for redevelopment.
A more appropriate use would be to restore the heritage building for use as a Joan Sutherland museum.
Well if your thought this article is about Dame Joan, it isn’t. Her command and excellence in this role is unrivalled. Her Aturo on this recording is Nicola Filacurudi.
Nicola Filacuridi was an was an Egyptian-born operatic tenor of Greek origin, who had an illustrious career in Italy in the 1950s. After local vocal study, he made his operatic debut in Alexandria in 1945 as Turiddu in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. He later sang the same role at the Cairo Opera House, as well as Rodolfo in LA BOHEME and Cavaradossi in TOSCA.
He made his Italian stage debut in Savona, as Alfredo, in 1949. The following year, he appeared at the Roma Opera as Maurizio in ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. He then sang at all the major opera houses of Italy, Trieste, Venice, Parma, Turin, Florence, Naples, etc. He made his La Scala debut in 1953, in a contemporary work Leonore 40/45 by Rolf Liebermann, and created the role of the Chevalier de Force in the premiere of the DIALOGUE OF THE CARMELITES at La Scala in 1957. Throughout the 1950s he was very active singing on Italian radio and television appearing notably in productions of LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, opposite Anna Moffo, LA TRAVIATA, opposite Rosanna Carteri and Carlo Tagliabue, ADRIANA LECOUVREUR, opposite Marcella Pobbe and Feodora Barbiere, and UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, again with Pobbé.
He also began making guest appearances outside Italy, notably at the Monte Carlo Opera, at La Monnaie in Brussels, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, and the festivals of Aix-en-Provence and Glyndebourne. He also appeared in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, and the Dallas Opera.
In 1958 he appeared at the up and coming Dallas Opera, first as Alfredo in LA TRAVIATA with Maria Callas as Violetta. In the same season he sang Lindoro in L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI with Teresa Berganza. Both operas were directed by Franco Zeffirelli.
It was in 1960 that he partnered Joan Sutherland in her first appearance in I PURITANI at Glyndebourne and they later sang together in the same opera in Genoa. In 1961 he again appeared in Dallas, as Rodolfo in LA BOHEME, with Ilva Ligabue as Mimi. His final performance in Dallas was in 1963 when he sang Don Jose to Regina Resnik’s Carmen.
In 1963 Filacuridi became tired of the endless touring and, determined to spend more time with his family, decided to settle in Australia where has wife Violetta had relatives. In 1964 he was engaged as a guest artist with the Elizabethan Trust Opera Company and sang Don Jose with Jean Madeira as Carmen. This was followed by a period in New Zealand, where he sang Pinkerton in MADAMA BUTTERFLY. Afterwards, he worked mainly in clubs, singing a selection of popular arias and Neapolitan songs, advertised as “Nicola Filacuridi – The Voice that Thrilled La Scala”, and then joined a Manly real estate business and sold real estate on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
In 1968 the ElizabethanTrust Opera Company was giving performances of TOSCA with the Italian soprano Antonietta Stella. Both Donald Smith and his understudy were ill. Filacuridi was called and asked if he could help. He sang the role with 2 hours notice !! He was to fill in again the following year for UN BALLO IN MASCHERA as the two scheduled tenors were once again indisposed. Hw was to do this again in BALLO in 1972. In 1976 he came to the company’s rescue once more by singing two performances as Don Jose to Huguette Tourangeau’s Carmen. He had always wanted to sing at the Sydney Opera House and this way finally got his wish. Even at this time he was a slim handsome man with a thrilling voice and acting style. No wonder Maria Callas once called him one of her favourite tenors.
Nicola Filacurudi died at the age of 88 years in 2009.
There are several videos of him singing on YouTube.
A Service of Thanksgiving for the late Dame Joan Sutherland, who died on 10 of October 2010, will be held in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 15 February at Noon.
Dame Joan Sutherland was regarded as one of the greatest opera singers of the twentieth century. She was dubbed ‘La Stupenda’ by an Italian audience after a performance at La Fenice in Venice, and described by Luciano Pavarotti, with whom she frequently sang, as ‘the greatest voice of the century’.
Her stellar career stretched from her concert debut in Sydney in 1946, to her final performances at the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1990. It was a legendary performance of Donizetti’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor‘ at Covent Garden in February 1959 that opened the door to international fame and she went on to sing in all the major opera houses of the world with many of the world’s greatest singers. She became the leading exponent of the eighteenth and nineteenth century bel-canto repertory, bringing before the public many unfamiliar works that are now standard operatic fare.
In partnership with her husband, the conductor, Richard Bonynge, she revitalised opera in Australia in the 1960s with the Sutherland-Williamson Grand International Opera Company, and subsequently played a pivotal role in the development of the Australian Opera. After her retirement Dame Joan continued to support and nurture young singers, as an adjudicator of singing competitions and as an active Patron of several music charities. She leaves a huge legacy of recorded music.
Complimentary tickets are required for admission to Westminster Abbey and can be obtained from the Australian High Commission, or write to Public Affairs Branch, Australian High Commission, Strand, London, WC2B 4LA.