Dame Joan Sutherland, the acclaimed opera singer known as La Stupenda, has died aged 83 at her home in Switzerland.

Sutherland had a career spanning four decades from the 50s til the 80s and became Maria Callas’s successor as the most celebrated soprano in the world.

Earning the accolade La Stupenda in Venice in 1960, Sutherland continued to dominate the operatic world until she retired in 1990.

Dame Sutherland was born in Sydney in 1926 and married the Australian conductor Richard Bonynge in 1954. She was 33 before she achieved her first major success and fame with a performance of Lucia at the Royal Opera House in Convent Garden.

Luciano Pavarotti, a close friend of Sutherland’s, called her the “voice of the century”.

In a statement her daughter-in-law Helen said: “She’s had a long life and gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.”

For those TNT readers who may not be avid opera buffs, here’s Joan Sutherland in her heyday singing Bellini’s ‘I Puritani’.