The family of soprano Joan Sutherland says the Australian-born opera singer has died. She was 83.
Sutherland's family released a statement Monday saying the celebrated singer, known to her Italian fans as "La Stupenda," died Sunday at her home near Geneva.
"She's a very important person all over the world, but for us this is our family and we're just trying to come to terms with this," her daughter-in-law Helen told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Sutherland was acclaimed from her native Australia to North America and Europe for the wide range of roles she took on during a career that spanned four decades.
The singer made her stage debut in 1951 and went on to perform at many of the world's great opera houses during an illustrious 40-year career.
Her last stage appearance was alongside Luciano Pavarotti in "Die Fledermaus" at The Royal Opera House, London, on Dec. 31 1989.
Pavarotti once said of her: "Joan Sutherland is certainly the greatest voice of the century."
After her retirement from the stage she remained active in nurturing young singers, and became a regular fixture on the jury of singing competitions worldwide.
The family statement says Sutherland is survived by her husband, Richard Bonynge, and son Adam.
The statement says a small private funeral will be held.