After studying singing with Madame Nicklass Kempner. Joan Carlyle auditioned for the Royal Opera House and was immediately put under contract as principal Soprano by Rafael Kubelik. Her career was nurtured by him and Rudolf Kempe, Klemperer, Karajan, Guilini, and Solti.
From Sophie in Rosenkavalier, Oscar in Ballo in Maschera, Micaela in Carmen, and Pamina in Zuaberflote, she was very quickly rising in stature and putting a unique quality into her portrayal of roles. When she sang Mimi, the press said: "The Royal Opera house had a real Puccini singer in the House team with real passion".
She sang the role with De Stefano and was then Mimi to Pavarotti in his Vienna and London debuts as Rodolfo.
She sang at La Scala Milan, Staatsoper Vienna, Staatsoper Berlin, Staatsoper Munich, San Carlo Naples, Teatro Colon Buenos Aries, and all other major houses in Europe.
She developed into a Spinto Soprano and Solti chose her to sing Arabella (she was in fact the first British Soprano to essay this role.Strauss in fact completed the Opera the year she was born.) Her performance was a triumph.
Critics wrote "Carlyle triumphs as Arabelle" and "Exquisite Arabella from Joan Carlyle" These were headlines. Her Desdemona was acclaimed," The Spellbinding voice of Carlyle" headed the article which went on to say: "the Garden need never look abroad again". Another headline was " The Perfect Desdemona"
Since retiring she has taught singing privately and at the R.C.M. and R.C. in London, where she gave stage workshops culminating in performances. She also produces staged concerts using stage sets and professional lighting. which helps young singers to gain invaluable experience. She also sings in some of these events.
Having worked with the great Maestros and producers Geilgud, Visconti, Zeffirelli, Hartmann, Peter Hall, and Stein. She feels she has a wealth of experience and knowledge she must pass on. Therefore she is always delighted to do master class workshops and to produce.
The success of her work with her students, is proof indeed that she is a very gifted and an inspiring teacher.
She has just completed the first of a trilogy of autobiography, which will soon be available. and the first of eight CDs of some of her outstanding performances is available from her direct.
It is a burning desire of hers to set up a small Opera and Musical theatre.
Her motto is "Without a beginning there is no end".