We learn with sadness of the death on April 5 of the Australian soprano Elsie Morison, second wife of the Czech conductor Rafael Kubelik. Elsie was 91. After a ceremony in Prague, her remains will be flown for burial in her family tomb at Ballarat, Victoria.
Elsie was a staff soprano at Covent Garden in the 1950s when Kubelik, nursing a gravely ill wife, was the music director. They performed and recorded together until their marriage in 1963, after which Elsie decided that she would sing no more.
I met them both, separately and together. They shared a quietude and humility that is rare among great artists. Elsie, though she liked to laugh, was discretion itself. I last saw them together in Prague in 1990, on Rafael’s return after more than 40 years’ political exile.