Australian conductor Richard Bonynge has spent the greater part of his career working with, and encouraging his wife, "La Stupenda," Dame Joan Sutherland.
Together they made a formidable team and his vast contribution to her long career has long benefited the opera world.
His debut as an opera conductor took place in 1963 in Vancouver, where he conducted Faust.
Later that year he conducted Norma for the first time, with Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne in the leading roles.
He made his Metropolitan Opera debut on 12 December 1966, and his last performance there was in 1991.
In the beginning, his speciality had been music of 18th and early 19th century- encompassing most of the bel canto repertoire (Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti).
Later on he was to add some Verdi (La Traviata, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore) and Offenbach (Les Contes d'Hoffmann) to his repertoire.
He is also attributed with ressurecting Massenet's forgotten work "Esclaramonde" from obscurity.