over my shoulder: elisabeth schumann and jessie matthews

This was a fantastic, entertaining and most professional performance… A most unexpected, evening of pure music, voice, story and laughter!! (Audience member at Over My Shoulder, February 2018)

This project in development comes from the connection between two very different singers: Elisabeth Schumann, international classical diva, and Jessie Matthews, darling of 1930s musicals, on stage and screen.

Each of these women reached the very peak of her profession, working with the creative giants of her day and experiencing the ups and downs, rivalries and challenges that the performing life unavoidably entails. It is fascinating to weave together the strands of their narratives as an introduction to their music and artistry, built around the curious facts of how their stories finally intersect here in England.

After the success of my first narrated recital Haydn’s London Ladies, this format seemed ideal for combining similarly varied musical items and historical anecdotes. The new programme ranges from Schubert to Rogers and Hart, from Covent Garden and Hollywood.

The first performance of Over My Shoulder was given at St Martin’s Church, Ruislip on September 16th, 2017, in the presence of Elisabeth Schumann’s three grandchildren via her marriage to Walter Puritz.