Castles, Amy (1880–1951)

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Castles, Amy (1880–1951)

Well-known Australian soprano who faded into obscurity, but whose brilliance as a vocalist can still be heard on later released CD's. Born in Melbourne, Australia, on July 25, 1880; died in Melbourne on November 19, 1951.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1880, Amy Castles was able to study in London with Mathilde Marchesi , thanks to popular support for overseas studies. She later trained with Jacques Bruhy before making her debut in Cologne in 1907. In 1909–10, she toured Australia, and in 1912 the Vienna Hofoper awarded her a four-year contract. Castles struggled as a singer for several reasons: World War I cut short her Vienna contract, making concerts on the Continent all but impossible; she was diabetic with attendant health problems; and Australian singer Nellie Melba (1861–1931) was a superstar who overshadowed other singers from the outback. Eventually, Castles gave up an international career and faded into obscurity. Her recordings reissued on CD document the brilliance of her voice.