Elsie Morison, Australian soprano, Died at 91


Elsie Jean Morison was born on August 15, 1924, and died on April 5, 2016, in Prague.

She was an Australian operatic soprano.

Morison won the Dame Nellie Melba Scholarship in 1945, and the Queen’s Prize at the Royal College of Music in 1947.

Elsie made her English concert debut at the Royal Albert Hall in Handel’s Acis and Galatea in 1948 and that autumn joined Sadler’s Wells Opera, appearing regularly there until 1954.

She sang Anne Trulove in the first British staging of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in 1953 in Edinburgh, and at her Glyndebourne debut the following year.

During 1953, following a notable Covent Garden debut as Mimi in Puccini’s La bohème, Elsie Morison sang there frequently until 1962.

Elsie Morison was credited for the touching sincerity of her acting and the lyrical warmth of her voice, in such roles as Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro), Pamina (The Magic Flute), Marzelline (Fidelio), Micaela (Carmen), Antonia (The Tales of Hoffmann), Marenka (The Bartered Bride), and Blanche in the British premiere of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites in 1958.

Elsie Morison created the title role of Arwel Hughes’s Menna for the Welsh National Opera, in 1955.

Elsie Morison appeared as a singer in Denmark, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom.

Among Morison’s many recordings, those of Purcell, Handel and Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time capture the grace and conviction of her singing.

Elsie Morison has also recorded an outstanding and notable song complete Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes, Opp. 52 and 65, with Marjorie Thomas, Richard Lewis and Donald Bell, accompanied by Vitya Vronsky and Victor Babin.

During 1955, Elsie gained the Portuguese Order of Public Education.

Her past school started a memorial Elsie Morison Creative Arts Centre in 1985, and in 1999, Elsie Morison gained the Order of Australia.

Elsie got married to the Czech conductor Rafael KubelíkIn 1963 and decided to retire from performing.

She did sing occasionally post-retirement, such as at a 1968 concert in Melbourne conducted by her husband, with her mother in the audience

Elsie Morison