Favourites of a down-to-earth diva

Album shares Dame Joan's favourite opera moments - and her recipe for Christmas pud!

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Collection glitters with treasures chosen by beloved soprano Sutherland before she died.

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A big-hearted woman with a huge presence and a voice to match, Dame Joan Sutherland left a gap in the lives of many Australians when she died 10 years ago this weekend.

In remembrance of her, Decca has released an album of the legendary soprano's favourite opera moments, compiled by Dame Joan before she passed away on October 10, 2010.

Not only does MyFavourites include cover notes penned by La Stupenda herself but typical of her generous spirit, it also contains her recipe for her home-made Christmas pudding!

But what makes this particular collection unique, and an essential acquisition for all who treasure their memories of the supreme successor to Melba, are Sutherland's introductions to each item.

The selections range from Mozart, through the great bel canto repertoire, to several items of "light" music: "Trifles, perhaps, but I enjoyed singing them."

She recalls living next to and working with Noel Coward - "I think he was quite pleased with me!" - and pays tribute to her musical education in Sydney with Love will find a way from The Maid of the Mountains.

Further enhancing the album are tributes from Sutherland's colleagues, previously unpublished photographs and rarely seen costume designs for many of her signature roles.

My Favourites, Joan Sutherland (Decca), RRP $9.95. To order, click here.

BUT WAIT...

Also out this month is Chalet Monet by Richard Bonynge, a coffee-table book filled with more than 1000 photographs of the stunning Swiss home the diva shared with maestro Bonynge, who she married in 1954.

High on the slopes of the village of Les Avants, Chalet Monet is a spectacular residence, brimming with antiques, paintings and objets d'art. This sumptuously produced book captures the essence of their beautiful life there.

  • Chalet Monet: Inside the Home of Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, by Richard Bonynge, with a foreword by Marilyn Horne (Melbourne Books), RRP $95

READ MORE:Opera Australia launches free streaming service

READ MORE: Collection captures some of Joan Sutherland's most beautiful costumes

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