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Dame Joan Sutherland OM, AC, DBE is an Australian opera singer. She is noted for her contribution to the bel canto revival of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1949, she had won Australia’s most important competition, The “Sun Aria”. In 1953, she sang her first leading role at the Royal Opera House: Amelia in “Un Ballo in Maschera”. Later, she sang Aida.
In 1957, Sutherland made her debut as Alcina, starting her work on rediscovering the forgotten operas from the Baroque and Bel Canto eras. During her career and after, Sutherland received many prizes. In 1975 she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. In 1991, the Queen bestowed on Dame Joan the Order of Merit, one of Britain and Australia’s highest. In 2004, she received a Kennedy Center Honour for her outstanding achievement throughout her career.
Source - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Sutherland