Bonynge, Richard (Alan)

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Bonynge, Richard (Alan)

Bonynge, Richard (Alan), noted Australian conductor; b. Sydney, Sept. 29, 1930. He studied piano at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and at the Royal Coll. of Music in London, beginning his career as a pianist. After marrying Joan Sutherland in 1954, he devoted himself to helping her master the bel canto operatic repertoire. In 1962 he made his conducting debut in a concert with his wife in Rome; he then made his debut as an opera conductor with a performance of Faust in Vancouver (1963). He made his first appearance at London’s Covent Garden in 1964, leading a performance of I Puritani. On Dec. 12, 1966, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y., conducting Lucia di Lammermoor, with his wife in the title role. In subsequent years he conducted concerts and operas throughout the world. He was music director of the Australian Opera in Sydney from 1976 to 1986. In 1977 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


Q. Eaton, Sutherland & B.: An Intimate Biography (N.Y., 1987).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire