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Morag Beaton
Birth: Jul. 2, 1926
Edinburgh, Scotland
Death: Apr. 1, 2010
Sydney
New South Wales, Australia

Opera Singer. An artist able to present the repertoire of both the mezzo and dramatic soprano ranges, she shall probably be best remembered for her interpretation of Puccini's Ice Princess Turandot. Raised in Edinburgh, she was initially taught voice by her mother before joining the Royal Army in 1945. Following three years' service during which she both sang and performed routine duties, she returned home to continue her studies, then moved to London around 1948 where she trained on a part-time basis while giving occasional concerts. In 1962 Morag was hired by the Deutsche Oper Berlin where she bowed in Manuel de Falla's "Atlántida" and took a number of roles including Cherubino in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" and Rosina in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville". In 1966 she was Cathy in a recording of Bernard Herrman's "Wuthering Heights", a piece that did not make it to the stage for another two decades; engaged by Richard Bonynge for the Australian Opera in 1967, she was seen both as a mezzo in such roles as Verdi's prostitute Maddalena in "Rigoletto" and fortune teller Ulrica of "Un Ballo in Maschera" and as a dramatic soprano in such parts as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin", Abigaille of Verdi's "Nabucco", and Venus from Richard Wagner's "Tannhauser". Indeed, she would often alternate soprano and alto roles on consecutive evenings, not a recipe for vocal longevity. It was, however, in roughly 75 appearances as the title lead of Puccini's "Turandot" where, starting in 1967, she was to make her greatest mark in performance throughout Australia. In 1973 Morag appeared as the unfaithful Giorgetta in Puccini's "Il Tabarro" then returned to England for surgery; despite a full recovery, she was never again seen on the operatic stage and speculation continues as to whether she was driven away by her illness or by the difficulty of working for Sir Edward Downes, a skilled maestro but a far from estimable man. She continued to perform in recitals, giving her last in 1983, thereafter singing only for private audiences. Morag worked in an upscale dress shop, was a frequent honored guest at Australian Opera performances, and was reported to have still been in good voice in her 80s. At her death only a limited number of her recordings, one of them a full "Turandot", were available. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Sydney War Cemetery
Sydney
New South Wales, Australia
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Apr 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51544408
Morag Beaton
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Morag Beaton
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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- Tom A. Hawk
 Added: Jul. 2, 2014

- Bob Hufford
 Added: Jul. 5, 2013

- Jackie Howard
 Added: Jul. 2, 2012
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