Joan Carden (AO OBE)
(Born 9 October 1937)
Joan Carden is an Australian operatic soprano frequently referred to as "the other Joan" (a reference to Sutherland and Joan Hammond) she was also sometimes referred to as "The People's Diva."
Joan Carden was a principal soprano with the Australian Opera for 32 years.
She is particularly remembered for her Puccini roles, principally the title roles of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca and Madama Butterfly, however she did sing no less than 50 "other" roles. She also sang nearly all the Mozart heroines, as well as works by contemporary composers.
She became a friend of Joan Hammond at an early age (and sang at her funeral years later) and it was Joan Hammond who inspired the young Joan Carden to become an opera singer.
After studies at the London Opera Centre in 1996/7 she won a major prize in Munich which led to performances in the UK and Germany before she returned to Australia in 1970 to join the Australian Opera and she stayed with the company until she retired from the stage in 2003
She debuted with the Austalian Opera (now Opera Australia) in 1971 as Liù in Turandot then she sang Marguerite in Gounod's "Faust".
Thereafter, she sang in the first season at the new Sydney Opera House playing Pamina in The Magic Flute then Natasha in "War and Peace."
Other roles in her repertoire included Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Gilda (Rigoletto), Queen Elizabeth (Maria Stuarda) Desdemona (Otello), Leonora (Il Trovatore) and La Forza del Destino), Violetta (La Traviata), Tatiana (Eugene Onegin), Mimi (La Bohème), - most of the Mozart heroines, including Donna Anna and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro), Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte), Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito), and the Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier), Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes), the four heroines in The Tales of Hoffmann, Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Elisabetta (Don Carlos), and the title roles in Lakmé, Alcina, Adriana Lecouvreur, and Suor Angelica.
In concert she sang Verdi's Requiem and outside Australia she sang Gilda (Rigoletto) at Covent Garden and in New Zealand, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at the 1977 Glyndebourne Festival and with the Metropolitan Opera in 1978.
In her American debut, she sang Amenaide with the Houston Grand Opera opposite Marilyn Horne in Rossini's Tancredi and performed Constanza in 1978 with the Scottish Opera, and The Abduction from the Seraglio.
In 1982 she performed Tales of Hoffman and Simon Boccanegra with great American baritone Cornell MacNeil in the USA.
Although her farewell performance was in Sydney in 2002 where she played Tosca- she hasn't completely stopped singing.
A stint in a new production of Orpheus in the Underworld saw her play the role of "Public Opinion", based on the Australian political figure Pauline Hanson.
Througout her career Joan Carden made a number of recordings including a complete filmed performance of Verdi's La Traviata