Johanna Allen has an extensive career as a performer at a national and international level across a range of genres, including cabaret, drama and musical theatre. Allen covered and performed the role of Mother Abbess in the Sound of Music. Most recently she has been a national radio host on ABC Radio.
Following the success of her sold out cabaret season of The Songs The Got Away: The Music of Harold Arlen at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Johanna Allen was invited to return with another show. She decided on a show that would pay tribute to her European heritage.
“The show is the best of European chanson songs, combined with popular music of now – pop songs that lend themselves to be reinvented in that way,” explained Allen.
The show will feature the music of the “giants” of the 30s and 40s; singers such as Edith Piaf, Astor Piazzolla, Michel Le Grand, Kurt Weill and George Bizet.
“This really appeals to my European soul,” said Allen.
Johanna Allen has a Polish heritage, but her classical music training meant being immersed in French, Italian and German music.
“I felt a tremendous, deep-felt love for artists like Jacques Brel (who composed ‘Mack the Knife’) and Edith Piaf and the fire in the music.”
Allen believes there is a power in the story telling of these songs and most of the numbers will be performed in English.
“I’m doing it mainly in English because I want people to really connect to the lyrics. They’re all story-based songs. They’re all story-teller songs.”
The show will also include songs from contemporary artists.
“Artists like Madonna and Sia whose melodies still have that ache and melancholy, so I’ve combined the best of all of that.”
Even Kylie Minogue gets a look in.
“Kylie with a bit of tango in it!” laughed Allen.
Her show is called Euromash. Allen has taken iconic European songs from a past era, intertwined with some “reinvented” songs from contemporary pop icons and added a theatrical touch. They are all songs that Johanna Allen really loves.
“This is the music that speaks to my soul. I get to sing the songs I really love, I get to be a European pop princess and I get to channel the beauty of the words of these songs.”
Unlike her previous show, Allen will performing the songs as herself in a much more relaxed style and not taking on any personae.
Johanna Allen will be joined by Mark Simeon Ferguson on piano, who most recently collaborated with Rufus Wainright at the Adelaide Festival, and world music specialist Julian Ferraretto on violin and mandolin.
Johanna Allen believes Euromash will appeal to anyone who loves and appreciates music.
“People who love European music, with some fire in their soul and a gypsy heart!”
J company presents: Euromash
Melbourne Recital Centre 2017.
Friday 8th December 7pm
Saturday 9th December 4pm & 7pm
Starring Johanna Allen with Mark Simeon Ferguson (piano) and Julian Ferraretto (violin & mandolin).