By 1931 Walter Kirby had settled in England, but as FRANK VAN STRATEN discovers in the final instalment of his biography of the NZ-born Australian tenor, he did not forget Australia, leaving numerous significant endowments in his will.

During the afternoon of 3 September 1931 Walter Kirby was arrested in the men’s toilet at Victoria Station, and charged with indecency in a public convenience, specifically ‘importuning males’. The incident and its aftermath were widely reported in Australia, but again it was the New Zealand press that gave more details, even though Kirby was always referred to as an Australian, not a New Zealander, and his age was given as 48, though he was 57.

Walter appeared in Westminster Police Court on 8 October. The police prosecutor, Vernon Gattle, said that Walter had been under surveillance for an hour. The arresting inspector testified that when the charge was read to him Walter had said, ‘I am sorry. I did not think I had been here an hour.’ He had spoken ‘in a very peculiar, husky voice, and was constantly making grimaces,’ and he had vehemently denied the charge. Walter listened to the police evidence ‘with his head buried in his hands’.

Walter described the throat operation that he had undergone earlier that day as ‘shockingly painful’. He said he had haemorrhaged in the bus on his way home, and had gone to the toilet ‘to attend to himself’. He claimed to have thought he had suffered a stroke and lost his memory, and that he felt that he had twenty heads. Sir James Dundas-Grant testified that the cocaine may have affected Walter ‘more than it would an ordinary person’ and that ‘his ordinary moral controls might have been temporarily suspended’. Walter’s counsel, the distinguished Edward Marjoribanks (thankfully pronounced ‘Marchbanks’), said that he would be able to ‘bring most distinguished evidence of good character’. Representatives of the Australian government were present during the hearing. Bail was refused, and Walter was remanded for a week in custody under medical supervision in Brixton Prison Hospital.

Walter was back in court on 15 October. Edward Marjoribanks was in fine form. He told the court that the alleged offence was ‘a sordid incident, so eccentric and extraordinary that I ask you to believe that, at the time, his moral control was suspended. People have been inspired and comforted by the beauty of his voice, and he still has a long career in front of him if it is not impeded by a term of imprisonment. Already his appearance in court has interfered with contracts, and it would be a real pity and a real shame if a man gifted in this way should have his career destroyed by a single incident of this nature. This was a sordid and unfortunate incident in a distinguished career. His ordinary moral controls were suspended, as Sir James Dundas-Grant had said in the earlier proceedings. Kirby was subject to the extreme apprehensions of men of his age—he was over 50—and was sometimes led into these actions through purely physical causes. He had already paid very dearly for his lapse. He had a long and artistic career before, him, if not given terms of imprisonment. Contracts already made would be affected. l feel sure that if you take a merciful course events will justify it. It would be a pity if a man of his artistic calibre had his career destroyed by one single instance of this nature which can be attributed to a temporary physical aberration, due to a physical cause.’

The Victorian Agent-General, Sir Walter Leitch, said that he had known the defendant for thirty years, and that he enjoyed a great reputation in Australia. He had never heard of him ‘being nasty or sordid in his ways’.

It was no use. In delivering his sentence, magistrate Harold McKenna said that he had considered the defendant’s previous good character and the fact that he had already spent a week in custody. Nevertheless, he sentenced him 21 days’ imprisonment in ‘the second division’, a system designed to handle first-time and short-term offenders.

Walter was said to have left the dock without uttering a word.

Most of the subsequent Australian press coverage was factual and non-judgmental but, given Water’s colourful reputation, it could have been expected that the country’s popular papers would have pilloried him. The fact that they did the opposite sheds a different light on what we have assumed were the times’ stern attitudes to ‘difference’. Two widely read weeklies, Hugh D. McIntosh’s Sydney broadsheet The Arrow and the Melbourne-based tabloid Smith’s Weekly, published moving stories in the weeks and months after his release.

The first to come to Water’s defence was The Arrow. An illustrated feature story in its 23 October 1931 edition was headed ‘Anti-Climax of Eventful Career’. It’s worth quoting at length:

‘It needs a sympathetic hand to write “Poor Walter” to the epilogue of the career of Australia’s most remarkable native-born [sic] tenor. For no-one knowing Walter’s sensitive complex, forever dreading, like a blow, the imminence of publicity attacking him on the moral side, would expect him to emerge from the ordeal through which he is passing, 21 days’ imprisonment for an act of indecency, except as a broken man.

‘The curtain that had seemed to lift for a moment on a new and pleasant career for Kirby in England in the autumn of his life, has come down upon a black-out. And with it go his dreams of dignified retirement at Hendon, where he had pictured himself passing the rest of his days upon the earnings of investments which lean years have since cut down to the merest fraction.

‘Kirby’s is not the nature to recover from such a blow. Most of his life has been a recoil from infamous suggestions which, in the judgment of those who knew him, or thought they knew him best, contained no germ of truth. To be a tenor, in the time of Walter Kirby’s youth, was to be set apart from one’s fellow men, in a sense, and given a special classification if, as was Kirby’s misfortune, he exhibited none of the expected vices of a successful singer, but displayed the inconsistencies and vanities of a prima donna. Constantly in the society of women, he was never a lover. They flattered him in droves, and he accepted their homage. He accompanied them to afternoon teas and was their guest. But the very fact that Walter’s relations with the fair sex seem never to have contained a trace of sex interest reacted to his detriment, and a legend grew about him that caused his name to be bandied about in music hall jests, and himself to be lampooned in terms suggesting moral perversion. All this Kirby accepted in silence, but he felt himself a marked man, shunned old acquaintances in the street, and expressed tearful gratitude on occasions when friends of better understanding sought him out in public places to demonstrate their faith in him.

‘The worst of these attacks was that they were all by innuendo. Nothing definite, in all the years that Kirby sang in Australia, was alleged against him concerning his moral behaviour. Mainly the curiosity of the vulgar expressed itself in relation to his sex, and it was reported some years ago that certain bold young ladies engaged in charity work at the Melbourne Town Hall, in connection with a Button Day Appeal, unbuttoned Walter in a spirit of mischief, and left him thus, but it was an episode that left no sting, and was never investigated. He probably gave his services to charity more freely than any other singer who has performed in Australia.

‘It must always be remembered to Walter Kirby’s credit that though he pursued the path of bachelorhood through life, and cherished no liaisons, he was a father to numerous nephews, whom he had educated at his expense, and was good to his relatives in other ways besides. His friends here knew him for a pampered tenor, whose only faults were his eccentricities—strange outbursts that were the expression of a high-strung temperament. His friends will refuse to believe that this escapade that drew upon him stern retribution at the hands of a London magistrate was a self-revelation of a moral pervert. Far more likely that a sinister reputation, unfortunately and unjustly acquired, has followed him to London, where an unsympathetic magistrate, with an Australian before him, has waved aside the accused man’s story of an utterly irrational act, committed in a state of irresponsibility following upon an operation performed that morning. Those who know Kirby feel that something wrong has occurred—they do not accept this as a final brand of his degradation. He deserved too well of his country for that.’

Then, on 20 November 1931, Smith’s Weekly published this piece from its London correspondent: ‘Australia has recently heard of the terrible plight that has overcome its great songster, Walter Kirby. Looking drawn and haggard, he told Smith’s that his imprisonment had plunged him into the deepest depths of despair. “I don’t know what to do,” he said, “nor where to turn. My career has been wrecked.” In disheartened tones, Kirby spoke of the bright prospects that had been his before his arrest. “I think it’s ruined my life,” he exclaimed passionately. “No more exclusive clientele was ever given to a human being than mine. There were three Royal command performances to be given, and contracts with the BBC and a leading gramophone company. What my future will be I cannot say. I don’t know whether I am not contemplating the river. Why should I be treated thus?” Kirby added in a burst of despairing passion, “I have devoted my whole life to charity. I have donated to every hospital in London, and I have helped every charity, here and in Australia”.’

Nevertheless, new research in the BBC archives has revealed that on 20 October 1931 Walter broadcast a song recital with contralto Mary Ogden, and that on 2 April 1932 he was soloist in a concert by the Wireless Military Band.

Smith’s kept its eye on Walter. On 16 April 1932, it announced that he had been given a ‘fresh start’ and was singing again in London, but under an assumed name: ‘Ever since the cabled report of Walter Kirby’s enforced three weeks’ holiday at His Majesty’s pleasure, speculation as to his whereabouts and doings has been rife in Australia. From time to time all kinds of rumors have been in circulation. One persistent story was that Kirby had entered a monastery in Italy. Another was that he had married a countess, who was an ardent supporter of artistic aims. All, however, are without the slightest foundation. Kirby is continuing the even tenor of his ways under the name of Keating. Recently, at the Albert Hall, Kirby was one of the artists on an important program that included other Australian musicians. The daily newspapers spoke favorably of the other artists, but did not even mention Kirby, although he was singing under his new appellation. It is extremely unlikely that Walter will ever return to Australia. In conversation recently with another Australian, he said: “My deepest regret is that I shall never return to Australia and all my dear friends there.” His future plans are indefinite, but he has expressed an intention of conducting a concert tour of the Continent.’ Instead, he went to Ireland.

On 2 July 1932 the Irish Independent reported that Walter had been among the vast crowd—said to be approximately 25% of the country’s population—at Phoenix Park in Dublin for the final public Pontifical Mass of the 31st International Eucharistic Congress. Walter had warm praise for the choir and for its conductor, the distinguished Irish composer and musician Vincent O’Brien, and for the singing of the great Count John McCormack. McCormack had begun his career with tuition from O’Brien, and he and Walter had become friends when Walter had visited Ireland in 1903.

On 12 July, according to a piece in The Cork Examiner: ‘A number of ladies made their vows at the Good Shepherd Convent in Limerick, and among them was Sister Mary of Our Lady of Lourdes, daughter of an Irish divine and cousin of Walter Kirby, the renowned Australian tenor. Mr. Kirby sang most delightfully some of his own compositions at the Mass.’ The Melbourne Herald reported that: ‘Mr. Kirby gave a song recital recently in the ballroom of Flesk Castle, Killarney, before a large and fashionable audience,’ and he sang at the Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair in Cork and at Tipperary’s historic Rock of Cashel. He also spent time with his cousin, Rev. John Wallace PP, in the tiny village of Cratloe near Limerick.

On 2 September 1932 The Arrow brought welcome news of Walter’s ‘rehabilitation’. It was headed ‘A Cloud Lifted’ and concluded: ‘All who have heard his golden voice will read with pleasure the news that he has been accepted in the land of his ancestors.’

Back in London, Walter quietly resumed teaching, only to find that music hall star Randolph Sutton had introduced a saucy little number called ‘When Are You Going to Lead Me to the Altar, Walter?’ It’s been credited to several different composers and lyricists, but its sentiment is remarkably similar to Jack O’Hagan’s 1923 hit, ‘Walter’:

First verse:

Walter and me, we’ve been courtin’ for years,

But he’s never asked me to wed.

When Leap Year comes ’round I give three hearty cheers,

As I do the askin’ instead.

I don’t want to die an old maid,

So I sing him this serenade:

First chorus:

Walter-er, Walter, lead me to the altar,

I'll make a better man of you.

Walter, Walter, buy the bricks and mortar,

And we’ll build a love nest for two.

My bottom drawer’s all packed and ready,

My bridal gown’s as good as new.

Walter, Walter, lead me to the altar.

And make all me nightmares come true!

Second chorus:

Walter, Walter, lead me to the altar,

I don’t cost much to keep in food.

Walter-er, Walter, mother says you oughta,

So take me while she’s in the mood.

You know I’m very fond of chickens.

We'll raise a lovely little brood.

Walter, Walter, lead me to the altar,

And I'll show you where I'm tattooed.

Third chorus:

Walter, Walter, lead me to the altar,

Don’t say I’ve met me Waterloo.

Walter, Walter, tears are tasting salter,

And I’ve lost me handkerchief too.

Don’t muck the goods about no longer,

My old age pension’s nearly due.

Walter, Walter, lead me to the altar,

It’s either the workhouse or you.

Sutton’s interpretation of the song was released on the budget Panachord label in November 1932, but it did not truly become popular until Gracie Fields sang it in the 1938 film We’re Going to be Rich. Her studio recording of it remains a classic. While the song’s creation may have had nothing to do with Walter’s reputation, it remains an intriguing possibility.

On 6 November 1934 Walter led a party of Australian singers in an entertainment for nearly 100 blind ex-servicemen at St. Dunstan’s, the Regents Park headquarters of the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Care Committee. It was to form a fitting finale to his long, illustrious career.

Smith’s Weekly had confided to its readers that Walter was living in grand style in a flat in Bedford Square—an elegant Georgian garden enclave that housed many of the city’s artistic elite—and that he had found ‘an ultimate haven of calm in the retirement of English hostesses on a backwater of the Thames.’ Sadly, it was not to last.

Towards the end of November he suffered a heart seizure at his flat. Four doctors were called, nurses were in constant attendance, but pneumonia ensued. He died in St. Dunstan’s Nursing Home on 5 December 1934. He was 61. Smith’s Weekly told its readers: ‘The patient, resigned to the inevitable, met the end calmly. So died untimely one who, in the opinion of his staunchest friends, had been dealt with by fate not according to his deserts.’

After a Requiem Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Notting Hill, Walter Joseph Regis Kirby was buried at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kensal Green.

On 9 February 1935 Smith’s Weekly published a follow-up piece:

‘Two months have passed since the death of Walter Kirby in London, yet the mails have brought letters that tell of the enduring devotion of his friends in Britain to the greatest of Australia’s lyric tenors.

‘Walter Kirby, most discussed of Australian singers, left the world guessing of how much money he possessed when he died. Some people, taking too literally his jocular remarks about ‘the poor artist’, were inclined to believe that he was perpetually on his uppers and were disposed either to patronise or to ignore him. Others went to the other extreme and credited him with miserliness and almost fabulous wealth. The truth probably lay between the two extremes.

‘Unappreciated, if not misunderstood, he responded to friendly gestures almost gratefully, and held his own as an entertainer. The key of his sideboard was outside the door of his three-guinea flat at the top of Collins Street—a signal to callers to go in and help themselves—and no tightwad ever took such a risk.

‘It was no secret that Walter had paid for the education of several young relatives who had not been favoured with the same opportunities as he had. He was ‘discovered’ by two ladies of quality in London—Lady Wantage and her aunt—who provided him with a sound training. When ultimately he returned to Australia in 1912 his reputation was made, and he was able to command good tuition fees and to refuse a performance at less than 25 guineas [$2600], except when he organised one of his numerous concerts for charity. It is denied that when he visited Australia on a concert trip from England many years ago, it was necessary for anyone to finance the tour; but he used to complain that in this profit-sharing venture the usher who showed patrons to their seats did better than he, his share amounting to only 18 shillings [$90] for four concerts. When the then Chief Justice of Victoria (the late Sir John Madden) heard of this he arranged another concert for Kirby, and the prestige attached to the sponsor resulted in a financial success, Walter of the golden voice receiving £200 [$20,000] this time.

‘Kirby, who had known poverty, having once worked in a country post office and later sold articles from door to door, put his later earnings into investments, some of which he used to say turned out badly. On the stage it was computed that his invested money totalled about £15,000 [$1,500,000] but it has been explained that this figure, which might have been his total during the depression, increased subsequently. Among his investments was money in tobacco, and in Kandos Cement.

‘The rumour that he allowed lady friends to pay for his afternoon tea parties is hotly denied by one of his closest friends, who used to meet him daily, while his hotel acquaintances could not complain that Walter’s throat dried up when it was his turn to “shout”. At any rate, he kept an eye on the future, and in conversations with the writer about three years ago, he had apparently acquired a modest competence, for he spoke of his desire to return to England and live quietly in retirement at Croydon. Instead of which the brighter lights of London lured him.

‘Idle curiosity is speculating on the terms of his will. It Is believed that he made one will 12 years ago, by which certain charities of his former benefactresses will derive advantage. But if these provisions existed, they may be discounted by one or more subsequent dispositions.

‘A woman who, by the rule of long association, might reasonably have expectations, declined to offer any surmise, and deprecated discussion with the remark, “Very soon we will all know.” But until that moment arrives there will be many who will continue to assess the worth of this remarkable man in strictly cash terms, and remain unsatisfied until Walter “cuts up” for probate purposes in cold, hard figures.’

The cold, hard figures, when they came, revealed a substantial personal estate totalling more than £19,000 [$1,896,000]—£15,893 [$1,586,000] in Victoria and £3138 [$313,123] in New South Wales. And they raised many questions.

In March 1935 the Union Trustee Company of Australia Ltd applied for probate on his will, which he had made in Melbourne on 8 November 1923. There were many carefully thought through bequests. Mount St. Evins Private Hospital in East Melbourne, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Northcote, and the St. Vincent de Paul’s Girls' Orphanage in South Melbourne were each to receive £100 [$10,000]; the Sisters of Mercy, Fitzroy, and the reverend mother of the Faithful Companions of Jesus Convent in Richmond were each to receive £150 [$15,000]; while Auckland’s Sacred Heart College and the Auckland Marist Brothers College would each receive £100 [$10,000] to establish an annual ‘Walter Kirby Prize for Singing’. Walter’s two treasured pictures of King Edward’s visit to Chatsworth were bequeathed to Xavier College in Melbourne and to the ‘Melbourne Art Gallery’, and his books to Xavier and the Marist Brothers College in Sydney. He stipulated that ‘my diamond rings, together with my silver cigar and cigarette case presented to me by Princess Christian and the fob presented to me by the King of Sweden to go to Miss E.J. Sheehan.’ It is believed that this refers to Estelle Sheehan, a Melbourne pianist who had accompanied Walter on several occasions. The rest of his personal effects were to go to his niece, Madge Kirby, in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn. This was the only provision for his family. The will’s most notable provisions were amounts of £1000 [$100,000] each to the Universities of Melbourne and Auckland to establish annual singing scholarships to be known as ‘The Walter Kirby Singing Scholarships’, and a stipulation that the residue of the estate—estimated to be around £14,000 [$1,398,000]—was to be divided equally among certain public hospitals and charities in Wantage a little Berkshire village which, at the time, was home to 4000 people. Its pride and joy was a statue commemorating the birth there of England’s first king, Alfred the Great, in 849 AD.

It appears that on refection Walter had decided that his much-loved nieces and nephews should be provided for. His plans were confirmed for Smith’s Weekly by several of his ‘most intimate Victorian friends’: ‘He told them he was very dissatisfied with his first will and intended to alter it in favour of his relations. He hated having anything to do with wills—considering them to be the “death warrant” of the testator—and so he continually kept putting off the task of altering the terms of his original testament.’

Eventually, in London in November 1932, Walter had drafted a codicil virtually negating the original will and, instead, stipulating that his nephews and nieces should have ‘an equal share each in the values of the estate, to be paid to them every half year from the profits of the said estate.’ The codicil was witnessed by two friends and sent to his solicitors in Melbourne.

Early in May 1933, on letterhead from the Pierpont Hotel, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Walter wrote to his Melbourne niece, Madge: ‘I have been ill for many months, and I am afraid I will never be strong again. But don’t worry, I am leaving you and your sisters and [a cousin in Sydney] all I have left during your lifetime, and to go to charity at death.’ It was signed: ‘Your affectionate uncle, Walter’.

The codicil was sent to Melbourne, but because it was signed ‘Walter Kirby’ rather than ‘Walter Joseph Regis Kirby’, it was disallowed, and the original 1923 will was granted probate.

This was challenged by Walter’s brother, John Thomas Kirby, a volatile Melbourne jack-of-all-trades. He called for an investigation into the circumstances under which the original will was made. He claimed that the town of Wantage had only two small hospitals housing seven patients between them, and that the New Zealand university to which Walter had bequeathed money for a singing scholarship did not exist. He was partly right: Auckland University did not teach singing, but the donation prompted it to hastily establish a school of music. Melbourne University was said to be mystified about its bequest. A spokesperson for the University’s Conservatorium of Music said that as Kirby was a friend of the former director, Professor William Laver, he might have remembered the school for that reason.

There was similar uncertainty in London. On 2 May 1935 the Christchurch Star reported that the Matron of Wantage Hospital had said: ‘We should like to share in the money left by Walter Kirby, but I am afraid there has been some mistake. I cannot trace any Kirby treated here in the last thirty-two years except Walter Kirby, an aged farmer, who dislocated his shoulder in 1905. He had no connection with Australia.’

In London, a gentleman described as ‘a close friend’ told The Evening News, ‘I am surprised that Walter was so wealthy. He earned big money but spent it readily. It was a bigger surprise that he left the money to Wantage, which, so far as I know, he has never seen. And it is even more astonishing that Walter left the money to England, which he did not love. He considered that England had not appreciated him as well as Australia.’

On 29 April 1935 Brisbane’s Courier Mail brought news from London that Walter’s cousin, Mrs. McCourt, had said that he had left his money to Wantage, ‘because he repeatedly visited the town, and sang in the Roman Catholic Church there. Tragically enough, he caught the fatal chill there.’

Of course, it was not quite so simple. Eventually Walter’s connection with Wantage was explained by two of his Melbourne friends, Esmond Lawrence Kiernan, a Member of the Victorian Legislative Council, and Thorold Waters, his former housemate in London, and now music critic for the city’s Sun News Pictorial. They revealed that this was Walter’s way of showing his appreciation for the help and encouragement of his benefactress, Lady Wantage, who had died in 1920.

Thanks to the recordings that he had made in Sydney in 1927, Walter was heard occasionally on radio in the years following his death. After the Second World War many old traditions of music making—and of life itself—were swept away. As new generations of Australian singers came to the fore, Walter was all but forgotten. Though John Hetherington included snide references to him in his 1967 biography of Dame Nellie Melba, there was no mention of him in Barbara and Findlay’s seminal work Singers of Australia (1967), nor in Adrienne Simpson’s two books on New Zealand singers, Southern Voices (with Peter Downes, 1992) and Opera’s Farthest Frontier (1996). He is also missing from James Glennon’s Australian Music and Musicians (1968) and The Oxford Companion to Australian Music (1997). 

In recent years his four surviving recordings have been digitized, and they can now be heard via the internet and, as noted earlier, his recording of ‘Ben Bolt’ is included in the important 4-CD set From Melba to Sutherland: Australian Singers on Record.

Perhaps most significantly, Walter’s name lives on in the musical awards he provided for in his will. His old Auckland school, Sacred Heart College, still awards Walter Kirby prizes, but now they cover instrumental and group work as well as voice. Future rock icons Tim and Neil Finn were winners in 1971.

Over the years the prestigious Walter Kirby Singing Scholarships in Auckland and Melbourne have helped start the careers of innumerable aspiring young singers. ‘Receiving the Walter Kirby Singing Scholarship in 1951 gave me confidence and a sense of the continuity of musical training and, of course, access to the best teachers and vocal coaches,’ says distinguished Melbourne soprano Loris Synan OAM. Her subsequent career in Australia and Great Britain has included grand opera on stage and on television, oratorio, concerts, radio and recordings, culminating in a seven-year tenure as Head of the Voice Department at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University.

A later recipient, soprano Miranda Rountree, has performed in concert, opera, operetta and musicals in Australia and overseas. She also studied piano, stagecraft and the role of modern technology in vocal performance. She is passing on her knowledge—and her enthusiasm—to new generations of aspiring youngsters through her Queensland-based chain of Rising Stars music studios.

An early pupil of Miranda’s was soprano Margaret Jarvis. Although her subsequent professional career was limited, she represents a unique link to Walter Kirby: her great-great-grandfather, Daniel David Kirby was Walter’s brother. She and a now vast network of Kirby family members respect and admire their forebear’s artistry and treasure his significant contribution to fine music in Australia, Great Britain and Ireland.

Walter Joseph Regis Kirby would have been delighted!

‘He the sweetest of musicians

Sang his songs of love and longing …

That the feast may be more joyous,

That the time may pass more gaily…

… Sang in accents sweet and tender,

Sang in tones of deep emotion,

Songs of love and songs of longing …’

Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor



Walter Kirby’s Melbourne relatives have recently identified his unmarked grave, and are hoping to arrange for an appropriate maker to be installed.


Listen to Walter Kirby singing ‘A Hundred Moonlit Miles’ (Columbia 0605)

Special thanks to

Christine Buck, Margaret Jarvis, and the extended Kirby Family

Peter Burgis

Brian Castles-Onion AM

Dr Mimi Colligan AM

Jo Gilbert

Miranda Rountree

Loris Synan OAM

Jason Thomson

Claudia Funder, Australian Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne

Xavier College, Melbourne

National Library of Australia

State Library of Victoria



Principal references

Jeff Brownrigg, A New Melba? The Tragedy of Amy Castles, Crossing Press, Darlinghurst, 2006

Mimi Colligan, Canvas Documentaries, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 2002

Peter Game, The Music Sellers, The Hawthorn Press, Melbourne, 1976

Alison Gyger, Opera for the Antipodes, Currency Press, 1990

John Hetherington, Melba, F.W. Cheshire, Melbourne, 1967

Roger Neill & Tony Locantro, From Melba to Sutherland, Universal Music, Australia Pty Ltd, 2016

Fred Page, ‘The Auditorium—Birth of a Showcase’, CinemaRecord, Winter 2001

John Ross, The Sound of Melbourne, ABC Books, Sydney, 1999

Thorold Waters, Much Besides Music, Georgian House, Melbourne, 1951