Joan Sutherland as a young singer still living in Australia believed herself a mezzo-soprano. Her early goal was to dedicate herself to the heroines of Wagner, with a special affinity for Isolde. Among the students that accompanied her in recitals was a very confident young man they all called Ric. He was a few years older and on his way to London for study at the Royal College. In his parting remarks after their rehearsal he advised her that she was capable of a much wider range of roles than she imagined and suggested she consider the then almost completely unknown works of bel canto. Sutherland won great local success and finally cash rewards enough to try her luck in London and was offered entree to Covent Garden and it's program for young singers .