V0220. AMY CASTLES: Songs by Goring Thomas, Zardo, Braga, Willeby, Lieurance, Nevin & Gounod; Arias from I Puritani, Semiramide, I Vespri Siciliani, Rigoletto & Jocelyn; EILEEN CASTLES: Songs by Bach-Gounod, Dvorák & Weatherly; Cavalleria - Intermezzo [as 'Ave Maria']. (Australia) P.F.P. CD 100, recorded 1906-27, Australian Columbia, G. & G & HMV. Very long out-of-print, Final ever-so-slightly used copy of this extremely limited edition!
“Amy Eliza Castles made her début on 16 March, 1899, in Melbourne at the annual meeting of the Austral Salon. The 'magnificent quality' of her voice astonished her audience and public concerts were immediately arranged. Castles left in September to study with Marchesi in Paris. Alarmed when Marchesi attempted to produce her as a contralto, Amy left her to study with Jacques Bouhy.
In November 1901 she made her first London appearance at a St James Hall concert with Ada Crossley and Clara Butt, and was enthusiastically received. In 1902 she returned to Australia to tour for J. C. Williamson. After further study in Europe, she reappeared in London in 1905 at Queen's Hall concerts and in 1906 gave a command performance before King Edward VII. She sang in the larger German centres, making her European début in grand opera in 1907 at Cologne in Ambroise Thomas' HAMLET. She appeared in seasons of Gounod's ROMÉO ET JULIET and FAUST and became a favourite of the Queen of the Netherlands. She also took part in the Harrison tours of Great Britain and at various times sang under the batons of Hans Richter, Sir Henry Wood and Landon Ronald, achieving success in concert, opera and oratorio.
In September 1909 Amy Castles returned to Australia for a four-and-a-half month tour of seventy-two towns for J. & N. Tait. Her voice at this time was described as astonishingly even and full. At the end of this tour she appeared in the Australian première of Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY for J. C. Williamson. She returned to London in 1911 for a special series of Chappell concerts. In 1912 she accepted an offer of a four-year contract from the Imperial Opera in Vienna and was appointed Kammsängerin to the Imperial Court. With the outbreak of war she was obliged to leave Austria, returning to Australia in 1915 to tour the capital cities. In 1917 she made her American début in New York at Carnegie Hall.”
- Thérèse Radic, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, 1979