'The People's Diva' - Operatic Soprano and Prima Artiste, Joan Carden, AO, OBE
Summary: Joan Carden was born in Melbourne in 1937 on the anniversary of the great composer Giuseppe Verdi's birth. After understudying June Bronhill as 'The Merry Widow' in 1960, Joan Carden sought tuition in London studying with her major musical influence, London-trained and based, West Australian-born, multi-lingual, expatriate vocal coach, Vida Harford. Joan Carden appeared in opera and concerts in Europe before initially joining The Australian Opera in concerts in 1970. The following year marked her stage debut with the company as 'Liu' in Turandot and 'Marguerite' in Faust. After much acclaim in Australia as 'Gilda' in Rigoletto she was invited to repeat the role at Covent Garden. Engagements ensued throughout the United Kingdom and United States. Joan Carden has sung virtually all the Mozart heroines. Her performance of 'Violetta' in Verdi's La Traviata has been noted for the moving interpretation. Her voice in 'Violetta's' famous aria, is on the sound track of the film Priscilla, Queen of The Desert. She has sung more than 50 major roles from the 18th century through to contemporary works , including: 'Desdemona' (Otello); 'Leonora' in both Il Trovatore and La Forza del Destino; 'Elisabetta' (both Don Carlos and Maria Stuarda); 'Rosalinde' in Die Fledermaus, 'Feldmarschallin' (Der Rosenkavalier) and 'Ellen Orford' (Peter Grimes); 'Tatyana' (Yevgeny Onyegin)- in Russian and English. Other title roles include Alcina, Lakme, and Adriana Lecouvreur. She has embraced Musical Theatre performances as Mother Abbess in the Gordon/ Frost Organisation's The Sound of Music and Ida Strauss in Titanic. In 2003, she took on a last role for Opera Australia - 'Public Opinion' based on controversial political figure, Pauline Hanson, in a satirical new version of Orpheus in the Underworld. Joan Carden is engaging grace and charm. She reflects warmly on a career that has not only brought audiences great joy but also rewarded her, in the ability to gift the art of song. The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa and where all good podcasts are found.