My husband, Errol Collen is a highly qualified and experienced translator (English/Afrikaans), editor, proof-reader, and writer. See his website for further details: ERROL COLLEN - TRANSATOR

Contact me at: jean2371@hotmail.co.za for a free quotation.

Payment of fees can be made internationally by Paypal 
or by Paypal or bank transfer in South Africa.


I began my singing studies with the famous British duettists Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, when I was seventeen. Two years later they asked me to act as studio accompanist for Webster, when Anne - who usually accompanied their students - had other commitments. I completed the ATCL and LTCL singing diplomas with Anne and Webster and remained friends with them until their deaths.  I appeared in concerts, musicals and operas in South Africa and the UK and have taught singing and piano for many years. After I married, I completed a BA (Honours) degree at UNISA, majoring in History, History of Music (with distinction) and English. I recently retired as musical director at a local Anglican Church after thirteen years.
    Since the death of Anne Ziegler in October 2003, I have done my best to promote the names, careers and voices of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth on the internet. Read more about the lives and careers of Anne and Webster on my blog: Anne Ziegler-Webster Booth

Look and listen to my uploaded videos featuring Anne and Webster on my Duettists Channel on You Tube.

If you are a fan of Anne and Webster, please join THE GOLDEN AGE OF WEBSTER BOOTH-ANNE ZIEGLER AND FRIENDS on Facebook  for interesting discussions, access to many rare recordings and photographs featuring Anne and Webster.

Here is a list of my books published on DUETTISTS STORE FRONT ON LULU  along with descriptions of the books and, in some cases, reviews by readers. 

 Jean Collen began her singing studies with the famous British duettists Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, in Johannesburg, when she was 17. Two years later they asked her to act as Webster's studio accompanist when  Anne - who accompanied their students - had other commitments. This was the beginning of a close friendship which lasted until their deaths. The book gives a summary of Anne and Webster's rapid rise to fame in the UK, which is already well documented in their own autobiography entitled Duet (1951). The book's main focus is on their lives and careers after Duet's publication, from 1956 when they arrived in South Africa and their "third" career after they returned home to the UK in 1978. 


by arrival

A beautifully written account of the lives of these two great singing stars of yesteryear, by someone whose life was to become intermittently interwoven throughout a long and memorable forty year period. If like me, you adore these great Artistes, then you won't be able to put this book down! A true and sometimes 'sad' angle of British stardom and its pitfalls, yet a living sparkle emanates from every page. After readingthis memoir, one is left with the feeling of nostalgia and also a feeling one has known this talented married couple. Personally told by a lady whose warm and generous heart has 'opened up' her fondest memories, and been kind enough to share them with us. When finished reading, you will be left with a conviction that these two remarkable names: WEBSTER BOOTH and ANNE ZIEGLER should never be forgotten. The book is simply 'unputdownable'.

Review by JOHAN GELDENHUYS, Poet, lexicographer and translator, January 4, 2008

This delightful book falls into the rare category of a personal memoir not about the person writing it but about two other people of talent.
      The upshot is two main characters brought to vivid life by the minutiae of everyday living recorded over an almost epic period of time (forty plus years) and a third character, the author, thrown into equally stark relief by her interactions with, and reflection on, them. A further factor of great importance highlighted in the book is the fact of migration, the two main characters as well as the author all being British-born and living in South Africa for a fair spell. The complex interplay of all of the above makes for a fascinating read not encountered often these days with its tales of ready-made solutions to spuriously complex problems or, in fact, fairly shallow neuroses.
      Overlying the innate complexity of the personal relationship of the three rounded characters referred to above is the many-splendoured realm of art in its guise of serious song taken to an even higher level of complexity in the spiritual sphere by the concurring of the author with Webster's opinion their, or at least his, best work was done in the field of oratorio.
The shifting scenario, from the U K and the U S A to Johannesburg, Knysna, Somerset West, and finally back to the U K and, in particular Wales, makes for exciting reading in that the style reflects the differing emphases in great and loving detail. Following the aforegoing subtleties of shifting aspects of reality the set of memories of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, adduced at the back, add a final lustre to a loving and complex portrait of several lives in vital and vibrant interplay.
      All the foregoing aspects are made possible by a simple and direct prose style, which is one of the book's greatest attributes, somewhat along the stylistic pleasures of Gaius Julius Caesar describing the Gallic and Roman civil wars and Blaise Pascal analysing mathematical and social structures. A salient example, chapter 16 on the 1973 East London production of The Mikado, will suffice, representing the truly complex undercurrents between professional and amateur ardours about the same production in an almost offhand mode encapsulated in a simple style of stark statement pregnant with knowing innuendo.
     Therefore, in summation, a marvellous book about a fascinating subject really intelligently written. Read it and dare to contradict the above views.

Affirmation, January 27, 2009
By Ian Harris (Czech Republic)

Amazon Verified Purchase

I have read Johan Geldenhuys' superb review and find that I simply have no words to add to his. I certainly am not disagreeing with his verdict - to the contrary, I only wish I could have expressed my opinion of Jean Collen's memoir half as articulately!
     Jean writes in a direct and, at the same time, very expressive style. I found that I was not able to put this book down until I had read the final page. This, surely, is the only true judgement of any writer's craft!

A compilation of newspaper snippets, articles and criticisms, taken from a wide variety of sources, interspersed with my own comments expanding on particular events. The compilation covers Anne and Webster’s musical and theatrical ventures from Webster’s first professional engagement with D’Oyly Carte in the early nineteen-twenties to Anne’s final broadcast towards the end of the century. The book is over 300 pages in length and is liberally illustrated. 

DO YOU REMEMBER ANNE ZIEGLER & WEBSTER BOOTH? tells Pamela Davies' fascinating story of her keen admiration of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth in the forties and early fifties. Shortly after Anne and Webster returned to the UK from South Africa in 1978, Pamela wrote to them to welcome them home again.  This letter began a regular correspondence with Anne  which led to Pam and Anne becoming good friends . 

The book includes THE BODY OF WORK OF ANNE ZIEGLER AND WEBSTER BOOTH, compiled and edited by Jean Collen. Jean has listed many of their engagements on stage, screen, radio and television from 1924 to 1994. 

8 October 2010 

Pamela Davies first heard Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth singing on the radio when she was a teenage evacuee in Devon in the early nineteen-forties. She became a staunch fan of the couple, attended as many of their performances as possible, collected press cuttings and made her own notes about the shows and concerts she saw.

When Anne and Webster returned from South Africa in 1978 she wrote to them to welcome them home. Much to her surprise, not only did Anne reply to her letter, but began a regular correspondence with her. After Webster's death in 1984, Pam and her late husband, Walter took Anne out for lunch whenever they were in North Wales, and they became good friends.

This is an interesting account of Pam's association with them over the years, first as a fan, and later as a friend. By no means is this an uncritical account by a starry-eyed fan, but tells of the couple's loss of popularity after the war, leading to their decision to settle in South Africa from 1956 to 1978.

I can thoroughly recommend this fascinating and thoughtfully written book to those who are interested in the lives and careers of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth.

Jean Collen 

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