Jean Collen’s profile
Jean Collen studied singing with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth at their Johannesburg studio. Several years after she began her studies, they asked her to act as studio accompanist for Webster Booth when Anne was away. She did her singing diplomas with them and remained friends with them until their deaths in 1984 and 2003.
Jean appeared in opera, operetta and musicals in South Africa and England, was an accompanist and musical director, and recently stopped teaching classical singing and piano after over 40 years.
After Anne’s death in 2003 she wrote “Sweethearts of Song: A Personal Memoir of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth”, published at http://www.lulu.com/duettists in 2006 and several more books about Anne and Webster. Recently she has published a novel and a volume of short stories.
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- This user has not listed any production as yet.
- Personal website.
- Joined 24th January 2011.
- Last logged in on 30th April 2016.
Last five observations
- To production of Airs on a Shoestring, by Laurier Lister, Theatre Royal, Bath and Royal Court Theatre, London, 1952 - 1954: “Laurier Lister presented abrasive reviews in the 1950s. Pamela Davies, wrote in her book, “Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth?” ‘Then in 1953 came the satirical revue “Airs on a Shoestring” at the Royal Court Theatre. One number, “Sing High, Sing Low” featured a couple, he in tails plus white gloves and a gardenia, she, a blonde with upswept hair, enormous dangling earrings and a pink crinoline smothered in roses. No guesswork needed here. Now it is true that Anne and Webster had sung duet versions not only of Strauss waltzes, but also of popular classics, like Liszt’s “Liebestraum” and the Chopin Etude for piano, known as Tristesse or “So Deep is the Night”. When the couple on stage announced they would sing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto – they didn’t say which one – “arranged as a duet”, the audience fell about. The “romantic duettists” then proceeded with their duet, accompanied by kisses, embraces, elaborate gestures, and on the final chord, “We detest each other!” The critics approved, finding it had “terrific bite”, concerning as it did romantic duettists, no longer young, who sang rubbish and perversions of the classics “just for the dough”. No doubt Anne and Webster heard of the sketch, maybe laughed over it, or were even flattered by it. After all, one has to be pretty prominent to evoke satire, and Margaret Thatcher enjoyed “Anyone for Denis?”‘ Extract from “Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth?” by Pamela Davies. Available at: http://www.lulu.com/duettists”
- To Tom Arnold production of Mother Goose (pantomime), Empire Theatre, Liverpool, December 1935 - January 1936: “I was most interested to see the photos of Dorothy Roberts who was in the chorus of this pantomime. I am compiling a time line of Anne Ziegler’s work before she joined her husband, Webster Booth as a “romantic duettist”, so I will mention Dorothy Roberts’ part in this pantomime.”
- To production of And So To Bed, by Vivian Ellis and J B Fagan, Bristol Hippodrome and Chiswick Empire, London, 1953 - 15th May 1954: “Webster Booth played Charles II, Anne Ziegler played Mistress Knight in this touring production of “And So to Bed”. After the original run in London this musical was extensively revised before it went on tour.”
- To Tom Arnold production of Mother Goose (pantomime), Empire Theatre, Liverpool, December 1935 - January 1936: “This was the first time that Anne appeared as principal boy in pantomime. She was to play many more principal boys in her career. During the run of this pantomime she met Babs Wilson-Hill (principal dancer), who would remain a life-long friend.”
- To Tom Arnold for Whitley Productions production of The Vagabond King, by W H Post, Winter Garden Theatre, London, 29th April - ? 1943: “During the sword fight in the play, Webster received a blow from his opponent’s sword to his larynx, so he was unable to sing for over a week. Victor Standing took over the part for a short time, but as he had another engagement, Derek Oldham stepped in until Webster was well enough to continue in the part.”
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