Obituary: Morag Noble
Thursday 07 October 1993
THE SCOTTISH soprano Morag Noble carved for herself a small but secure niche in operatic history by singing one of the four Virgins sacrificed to the Golden Calf in the British stage premiere of Schoenberg's Moses and Aaron at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 26 June 1965. The spectacular production, directed by Peter Hall and conducted by Georg Solti, aroused tremendous enthusiasm; it was performed six times that season and three times the following summer. Morag Noble sang at all performances.
After studying in Vienna, Noble embarked on a career as a concert singer; a very fine musician, with a pure-toned, lyrical voice, she frequently tackled 20th-century music, for which she had a special facility. For instance, in February 1960 at the Austrian Institute in London she sang the soprano part in Schoenberg's Second Quartet with the Pro Musica Quartet, while in January 1962 she gave a recital of songs by Pfitzner and Webern with the Park Lane Group. Courtney Kenny, her pianist at that recital, remembers with admiration her ability to make such difficult music as the Webern songs sound so comparatively easy.
The following month Noble was invited to Brussels to sing 10 performances of Constanze in Mozart's Entfuhrung aus dem Serail at the Theatre de la Monnaie. During summer 1962 she sang Echo, one of the Nymphs in Ariadne auf Naxos, at Glyndebourne. This was a revival of Carl Ebert's production of the original version of Strauss's opera, preceded by Moliere's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (in an abridged form), and followed by a firework display in the garden.
During 1963, Morag Noble gave two London recitals at the Wigmore Hall. The first, in June, included songs by Schubert, Pfitzner and Schoenberg, while the second, in July, ranged from arias by Bach and Mozart to songs by Hugo Wolf from the Spanisches Liederbuch and Tippett's song-cycle The Heart's Assurance. As part of the ICA Festival in December 1965, between the two series of performances of Moses and Aaron, she sang several songs by the American composer Milton Babbitt in a recital at the Arts Council.
She taught singing privately while still pursuing her own career; after her retirement she became a professor at Trinity College of Music, where she was both greatly respected as a teacher and much loved as a person.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 4 Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
- 5 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...
£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...
£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...