It is not many years ago since this popular soprano, who made her reappearance at the Queen's Hall in January, 1912, stood in the choir of an Australian convent school to sing as a solo, Gounod's "Ave Maria." In the congregation was the wife of one of England's most honoured Governors - General. "That girl must be taken care of. She has a voice of gold," she said to the Mother Superior. And thus it was that this youthful Australian nightingale, after ah extraordinary farewell performance at Sydney, at which 10,000 people were present, proceeded to Paris to study under M. Bouhy. She made her debut in London in 1900, when she was nineteen years of age. A year later, she commenced a tour in Australia. Curiously enough, the critics advised her to remain on the concert platform rather than undertake operatic work. When she was in Melbourne, however, the opera season was to open with "La Boheme." Six hours before Mimi was to step on the stage, the prima donna engaged for the part refused to sing. Miss Castles was asked to undertake the part, and did so, with the result that she scored a success even greater than she had achieved on the concert platform. Miss Castle's voice, which is best described as a lyric soprano, has a range of two and a half octaves, and her younger sister, Miss Eileen Castles, in whom Madame Melba has taken such an affectionate interest, is equally gifted.
Miss Amy Castles
Dover Street Studios