OBITUARY: Margaret Field-Hyde
Thursday 04 January 1996
Born in Cambridge, she was the daughter of F. C. Field-Hyde, a renowned teacher of music, from whom she received her first lessons on the violin and piano at the age of six and later her training as a singer. For many years she played violin in the orchestra of the Cambridge University Musical Association, and in 1928 she made her singing debut in a Cums production of Purcell's King Arthur; this established her as an interpreter of Purcell.
She now concentrated on her singing and acting career and in 1935 played Ariel in The Tempest at Stratford-upon-Avon. The following year she created the part of Angelica in Ralph Vaughan Williams's extravaganza The Poisoned Kiss, and was engaged by John Christie for the 1937 Glyndebourne season - as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro and Papagena to the Papageno of Roy Henderson. She sang in the first broadcast of Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine in 1947 and Poppea in a concert performance of L'Incoronazione di Poppea in 1948.
In 1951 she formed the Golden Age Singers to perform English music during the 1952 Festival of Britain, and these five singers gained a reputation at home and abroad specialising in the madrigals of John Dowland, Thomas Weelkes and other British composers, as well as of the Italians Marenzio and Monteverdi. They made a number of successful recordings.
Field-Hyde was a fine interpreter of 19th- and 20th-century music; she gave the first performance of Elisabeth Lutyens' O saisons, O chateaux! (1947) and took part in the first English performance of Malipiero's Mondi Celesti (1955). She also specialised in French song, having completed her singing studies in Paris with the French tenor and musicologist Yves Tinayre.
As a teacher, Field-Hyde was exceptional in that she was adept at finding a remedy for bad habits formed so often by incorrect teaching. Voice production, she said, was probably the most vulnerable musical study because so few teachers knew how to train the individual voice to work within its own limitations. Her methods were based on assessing the natural potential of each student and her results were often astounding.
Her own voice was sweet, pure and rich at same time, while every syllable could be heard without any sacrifice to the music itself. Her intelligent approach made her performances as a soloist and in her group outstanding. As a woman, she was diminutive, physically attractive and possessed of a delightful bubbly sense of humour.
She married in 1947, Eric Sharples, News Editor of the Arabic Programme in the BBC World Service; he died in 1987.
Margaret Field-Hyde, singer and teacher: born Cambridge 4 May 1905; married 1947 Eric Sharples (died 1987); died Goring-on-Thames 17 December 1995.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...
Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...