Between 2008 and 2013 the Royal Australian Mint produced a series of one dollar coins that commemorated the contributions made by a number of inspirational Australians. This piece celebrates the life of opera singer Joan Sutherland. The reverse was designed by Vladimir Gottwald and features his impression of Sutherland singing along with the legend "INSPIRATIONAL AUSTRALIANS: PERFORMING ARTS" and "DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND 1926 - 2010". The obverse features the standard Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II with the legend "ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2011".
Dame Joan Sutherland was one of the greatest female opera singers of the 20th century. She was born in Sydney in 1926 her talent for singing was quickly recognised and in 1951 she attended the Royal College of Music in London. After initially serving as a 'utility' soprano at the Royal Opera House she quickly grew in fame. In 1965 Sutherland toured Australia with every performance selling out. Over her forty year career she performed in every major opera house in the world. (Opera Australia, 2010)
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