SIR Andrew Lloyd Webber and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa are leading tributes to late opera legend JOAN SUTHERLAND, who died at the weekend (10Oct10).
The 83-year-old Australian-born soprano passed away at her home in Switzerland on Sunday (10Oct10), bringing the curtain down on a career which spanned more than four decades.
Tributes have been pouring in for the singer and British theatre mogul Webber admits the industry is unlikely to see another star like Sutherland.
He says, "(She had an) extraordinary voice (and was an) extraordinary actress. We were all absolutely tonight wanting to think of her memory. What a lot of people forget is that opera is not just about singing, it is about what you can bring to a role and she made the roles very much her own. She had that added ingredient that you really need to have to be not just a great singer, but a great theatre artist. I've never heard anybody who hasn't had the highest praise to say about her."
While New Zealand-born soprano Te Kanawa insists Sutherland's influence will live on for years to come.
She says, "You will never ever hear another voice like that. I certainly haven't heard one like that in the last 40 years. It was elite, it was supreme, no one could ever reach that.
"We've all tried but I think with a lot of us it failed... She was just amazing."
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard also paid tribute on behalf of her country, adding, "She was of course one of the great opera voices of the 20th century... On behalf of all Australians I would like to extend my condolences to her husband Richard and son Adam and their extended family at this difficult time.I know many Australians will be reflecting on her life's work today."