Opera Chic brings the news that, while I was happily observing Verdi's birthday yesterday (by listening to Traviata for the millionth time), the woman who was my first recorded Violetta, Dame Joan Sutherland, passed away. Tributes have been multiplying since. Update: Jessica Duchen has shared links to an in-depth interview on her blog. Frankly, I was surprised at my own reaction. Why should I feel bereft? Clearly, I came into opera-listening a generation too late to hear her live. But she was still part of my landscape; she was there, a venerable presence, a diva larger than life and fully human. She died not suddenly, but rich in years which were richly lived. My own sense of being thrown off balance in the wake of some profound change doubtless has much in it that is egotistic. But I--even I, who knew her only through still-miraculous recorded sound, reported anecdotes, and unearthed interviews--shall miss her being there.