Mary Carewe

Mary Carewe and Philip Mayers – Diamonds are forever


5 + 0 = ?


Mary Carewe is one of the most accomplished and versatile concert and recording artists in the UK. She has performed extensively throughout Europe, the Americas and Australia, with repertoire encompassing stage and screen, 20th century cabaret and contemporary classical music.

A dynamic stage performer, Mary regularly appears with the main UK orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, City of Birmingham and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, the Hallé, Philharmonia, Northern Sinfonia and Ulster Orchestra. On the continent she has performed with the Orchestre d’Ile de France, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; and further afield, with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Pops (with whom she made her debut at the Carnegie Hall, New York); and also with the Melbourne, Tasmanian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, John Rutter, Carl Davis, Kurt Masur, John Wilson, Don Pippin and David Charles-Abell.

With Australian pianist and arranger Philip Mayers, Mary presents a number of Serious Cabaret programmes exploring the development of cabaret and jazz throughout the 20th century. In 2012, Mary and Philip released Serious Cabaret for Orchid Classics, which included Berlin Cabaret songs, re-inventions of popular songs by George Gershwin, Kurt Weill and Lionel Bart as well as art songs. As a recitalist she has appeared at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Maison de Radio-France in Paris, Festival de l’Ile de France, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Casa da Música in Porto, Opera Butxaca in Barcelona, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Sage Gateshead, the Southbank Centre and King’s Place, London, as well as the Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Music Festivals.

On stage, she has sung the role of Mrs Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde at the Loch Shiel Spring Festival; Anna 1 in Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins in Bilbao and Cuenca, Spain; and in theatrical revues of Sondheim, Rodgers and Hart, and Cole Porter at London’s Cadogan Hall. At the 2010 Musikfest Stuttgart, Mary presented Das Lied der Nacht, performing Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and songs by Kurt Weill with the Sheridan Ensemble.

Recent and upcoming highlights include tours to the US and Australia (West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras), appearances with the Royal Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra of Opera North, and two CD releases; “A Crush on You” which presents Gershwin songs, arranged for voice, piano and string orchestra and “Celebrating the First Ladies of Song”, which pays hommage to the leading ladies of popular music.

Mary has appeared frequently as a soloist for BBC Radio 2, appearing on over 75 episodes of their flagship live music programme Friday Night is Music Night. On television, her voice is a familiar feature for jingles and TV themes, and her appearance alongside Carl Davis and the Philharmonia in a concert to celebrate 50 years of James Bond was aired on BBC4 in 2012 to wide acclaim.

A prolific recording artist, Mary’s discography reflects the diversity of her work, ranging from quintessential musical theatre composers including Rogers and Hammerstein, and Kander and Ebb; to 70’s pop icons Abba and the hits of the James Bond movies. Mary has also recorded Life Story by and with Thomas Adès for EMI, Britten on Film with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and appears with the Hallé on their CD Britten to America. Further to this, Mary has recorded extensively for Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, featuring on his Christmas CD Stella Natalis, and providing vocals on all bar one of the instantly recognizable Adiemus albums.

August 2016

71IoWegbeQL._SL1000_A Crush on You
s_410ownhnghl-_sl500_aa300_serious Cabaret
2012 – ORCHID CLASSICS – ORC 100021
‘Life is a cabaret’, someone said, or sang, and perhaps the reverse would have to be true as well. So welcome to this cabaret and welcome to life – life as it is lived in the early hours, or more likely as it is remembered, and dreamed of, and hoped for. Lucklessness is the main dish, with irony on the side, and a squeeze of optimism.
© Paul Griffiths, 2011, all rights reserved

PHILIP MAYERS (piano, arrangement)

s_rh-coverThe very best of Rodgers and Hammerstein
A collection of the greatest songs from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s hit musicals. With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Mary Carewe, Ria Jones, Michael Dore and Graham Bickley conducted by David Firman.

This album features ABBA’s greatest hit songs with an orchestral twist! With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring vocalists Mary Carewe and Ria Jones, conducted by Matthew Freeman

s_give-me-a-smile Give Me A Smile
Songs and Music of World War II

Mary sings tracks 3. Goodnight children everywhere 4. Bless ’em all and 11. Lili Marlene.
BBC Concert Orchestra & Brighton Festival Chorus. Conducted by Carl Davis.

100 Greatest Musicals

2010 – SILVA SCREEN (6 CDS) – SILCD1328
Stars of The London Stage Compilation. Mary contributes 3 tracks to this compilation album, with other stars including Lesley Garrett, Helen Hobson, Dave Willetts, Emma Kershaw, David Shannon and Zoe Tyler.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Available on Amazon and


Mary Carewe’s versatility ranges from musical theatre showstoppers and cabaret songs to contemporary music. She has appeared with orchestras worldwide and has performed under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, Kurt Masur, John Rutter, Rod Dunk, Rumon Gamba, Don Pippin, Gareth Hudson, Nick Davies, Nic Raine, John Wilson, Charles Hazlewood and Carl Davis.

‘Come to the Cabaret’
Mary Carewe takes you into the political and satirical world of Berlin Cabaret in the 1920’s and 1930’s, tracing the work of Cabaret and Theatre composers and their resultant exodus caused by the devastating Nazi crackdown of 1933.

Follow the fortunes of Franz Waxman, Kurt Weill, Friedrich Hollaender and Erich Korngold as they seek out new lives in America where they achieve success at the very highest levels of the theatre and film industries.

From the intimacy of songs such as and Alone in a Big City, the sexual ambiguity of Masculine-Feminine and the cruel wit of Mack the Knife to lush Academy Award-winning Hollywood film scores like The Sea Hawk and Sunset Boulevardthis is a unique insight into an intriguing era and it’s musical legacy – a fascinating world perpetuated by the Broadway partnership of Kander and Ebb in their award winning musical – Cabaret.

The Music of Bond – James Bond
Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, Nobody Does It Better, Licence to Kill are just a few of the numerous hits from the most famous James Bond movies, which form the basis of a truly thrilling programme. Mary’s virtuosic vocals and high octane performances have prompted the critics to highlight, “a crisp delivery and a versatile vocal range at her command” and “the versatility of a singer to encompass a range of hits…with unflinching ease…”. Mary has toured the programme in Australia, the Far East, Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, United Kingdom) and the United States, where she made an acclaimed debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in March 2009.

Broadway and the West End
There has always been a great deal of cross fertilization between New York and London and this programme is a reflection of that unique interaction, capturing all the style and sophistication of a great night out at the theatre, featuring songs and musical interludes from classic and contemporary musicals from Broadway and the West End – Cabaret,Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Cats, Evita, A Little Night Music, Wicked and Les Miserables – to name but a few. With her extraordinary story telling skills and dramatic zeal Mary Carewe casts a spell over the audience to create a piece of theatrical magic and brings to life masterpieces by great composers such as Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Coward and Novello.

The Magic of the Movies
The golden era of Hollywood stars such as Judy Garland, Doris Day, Barbara Streisand, Liza Minelli and Marilyn Monroe finds its full glamour in this special programme featuring the most memorable songs from the great movies, including the classics Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The wizard of Oz, The Way We Were and more recent features like Titanic,Fame and Chicago. Mary will revive the most powerful moments from these unforgettable pictures, along with orchestral blockbusters like Star Wars, Gone with the Wind, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Serious Cabaret
A selection of cabaret recital programmes devised by Mary Carewe and pianist Philip Mayers.

Leaving Berlin
With the rise of Nazism and Hitler’s Chancellorship in 1933, a vast number of musicians, artists and composers left Germany spreading their influence around the globe. This programme delves into the world of Berlin cabaret and political theatre between 1900-1933 and then beyond. Featuring songs by Eisler, Spoliansky, Zemlinsky, Hollaender, Weill, Britten, Bolcom, Gershwin and Blitzstein.

Love, Life and Kurt Weill
Mary and Philip explore the Berlin of Weill’s early days as a composer in the poltically engaged theatre of Brecht. They follow his progress to Paris, the city of Satie and Poulenc, and then on to London, where he lived briefly alongside Britten and Coward whilst working on the operetta Der Kuhhandel. The programme concludes with some of Weill’s glorious Broadway songs; the product of his settlement in the USA.

The Truth about Love
Love won and lost is the stuff of cabaret. This is an evening of pure joy, deep sentiment, dreadful tragedy and bitter cynicism with material by Bolcom, Gershwin, Bowles, Weill, Britten, Poulenc etc…

Pierrot Lunaire with Cabaret
In 1901 Arnold Schoenberg worked briefly as musical director of Überbrettl, one of Berlin’s leading Kabarett houses. Some years later he created Pierrot Lunaire for actress-singer Albertine Zehme and subtitled it “A melodrama”. This extraordinarily virtuosic piece of high expressionism is one of the ground-breaking masterworks of the 20th century.

In addition to the honoree itself, the second half of this programme draws on the golden era of Berlin Cabaret and will feature songs by Schoenberg’s contemporaries: Zemlinsky, Weill, Holländer, Eisler and Spoliansky.

Hommage to Cathy Berberian
Cathy Berberian could be described as one of the very first cross-over artists. As a classical singer, she regularly included songs from vaudeville, Broadway shows and pop music in her recital programmes, and even in her groundbreaking performances of contemporary music was inclined to introduce comedic devices and theatrical elements.

Purcell Winter Song
Walton Facade
Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire
Bruno Maderna Serenata per un Satellite by Bruno Maderna for ensemble
John Cage Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs for solo voice

Luciano Berio Folk Songs

Cathy Berberian Stripsody
Carl Vine Aria
Mauricio Kagel Rrrrrrr
And a collection of Cabaret, Broadway and ‘Pop’ songs….

Cabaret & Jazz: Berlin – London – New York
In the 1920s and 30s cabaret clubs thrived in Berlin just as jazz speakeasies did in New York. It was an era of great social upheavals on both sides of the Atlantic and the music expressed this with cynicism and social commentary on one hand and with frivolous, extrovert expression on the other. This music informed many of the 20th century’s classical composers who experimented with the genre or allowed elements of the style to colour their more serious compositions. The programme seeks out cabaret gems of the Weimar republic, jazz classics from the era of prohibition and highlights their influence on Britten, Bolcom, Sondheim etc.

Works to include:
Spoliansky/Schiffer –  Life’s a Swindle; The Smart Set
Weill/Brecht  – Surabaya Johnny
Hollander  – Sex Appeal; Chuck Out The Men
Gershwin  – Oh Gee! Oh Joy!; The Man I Love
Rodgers/Hart  – 10 cents a Dance
Gourney/Harburg – Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
Britten/Auden –  Cabaret Songs
Bolcom/Weinstein –  Toothbrush Time,
Coward  – 20th Century Blues; Mad dogs and Englishmen
Sondheim – It’s The Little Things You Do Together



“Serious Cabaret – Leaving Berlin”

“The enthusiastic songstress Mary Carewe was splendid … presenting herself with a bubbly, upbeat character with her light soprano voice … Carewe’s often humorous introductions to each of the songs certainly added interest to the evening’s entertainment and had the additional advantage of forging a bond with the audience. … I loved Carewe’s compelling rendition, accompanied by flute and cello, of Friedrich Hollaender’s ‘Chuck Out the Men’ … Throughout this demanding concert I was struck by Carewe’s capacity to live the song rather than merely sing the words together with the even rarer ability of giving the impression that she is singing directly to you. … Mary Carewe is a splendid singer and entertainer and the five Manchester Camerata players provided the finest possible support.”
Michael Cookson,, November 2013

Kiel – “Classic Bond”

“[Mary Carewe] once again showed tremendous vocal power and impeccable feel for the typical pulse rate of the bond songs”
Kieler Nachrichten, June 2013

Snape Prom – “Burt Bacharach”

“All three were strong performers, with Mary Carewe just edging it for me: her voice had a chameleon like quality, well-suited to the variety of songs she performed. A passing physical resemblance to Cilla Black added an extra dimension to Alfie and she especially seemed to live and breathe every single note she sang.”
Insuffolk, August 2013

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra “Classic Bond”, February 16th 2013

“Vocalist Mary Carewe joined Davis and the orchestra on roughly half the songs for the night. On the one hand, singing James Bond themes sounds like a pretty fun gig. On the other, the originals feature some amazing singers, and living up to Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Adele, and the like is no small order. Carewe does a fantastic job with all of the disparate styles, and was especially good on the theme to ‘License to Kill.'”
Rochester City Newspaper, February 2013

RPHO – Horwitz

“The star of the evening, however, is the license to sing, Mary Carewe… “Licence to Kill” is a highlight in their interpretation of the evening, and she gives it everything.”
Berliner Morgenpost, July 2011

The Music of Bond, James Bond – Pacific Symphony

“The talented Mary Carewe, a diminutive female singer with the vocal range and power of a woman twice her size,… brought to life the memories of such films as “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Live and Let Die,” “Thunderball,” and “A View To a Kill,” with theme music written and performed by Duran Duran.”
“Guest artist Mary Carewe, a British singer, stole the show during most of her numbers … her voice molding to the required style of each number as the evening progressed”
The Daily Pilot, June 2011

Friday night classics: Definitive Divas – CBSO

“The programme told us that the word ‘diva’ meant ‘goddess’ – and Mary Carewe, Grainne Renihan and Emer McParland lived up to that billing with an awesome performance that drew long applause.”
Birmingham Mail, February 2011

Bond Concert with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra – USA

“As the singer of such popular melodies as Goldfinger, Nobody Does it Better, For Your Eyes Only and Live And Let Die, Carewe’s job wasn’t easy. She had to envoke, without impersonating, such diverse voices as Shirley Bassey, Carly Simon, Sheena Easton and Paul McCartney. Yet with a crisp delivery and a versatile vocal range at her command, Carewe performed admirably.”
The Star Telegram, January 2008


Serious Cabaret (2012) Orchid Classics – ORC 100021

“With such an euphonious name as Mary Carewe, how could you not become a singer? Popular in England and Europe, with somewhat of a secret fan base here in the States, she is just tremendous. Her new CD, Serious Cabaret… proves that her voice can go anywhere she wants it, from serious arty stuff to low-down saloon blues. (…) Vocally, Carewe is so strong that she could have a brilliant career in opera. However, what completely separates her from such is an astounding respect for the word. Her diction is near-perfect, and her sense of humor can only be matched with her sense of despair, whichever the lyric requires. (…) If you’re a fan of cabaret, it’s never to early to fill your Christmas list with this gem. And if you’re not a fan yet . . .well, the word “yet” kind of covers it.”
Alan W. Petrucelli – – May 28, 2012

“[Carewe] is a versatile and exciting performer. (…) Carewe inhabits perfectly the language, mood, body and soul of the songs each in their varied forms. She is superbly aided and abetted by Philip Mayers who also arranged twelve of the songs – like the Bart mentioned above. He displays technical dexterity and balances both aurally and emotionally each of the songs’ meanings and moments of wit and humour as well as the darkness that many touch upon. (…) The range is wide. Several have some quite thought-provoking messages. (…) this disc has given myself and my wife much enjoyment and some considerable fun.
Gary Higginson – – 2012


The Film Music of Constant Lambert and Lord Berners

“You can’t fault the performances, which are fiercely conducted by Rumon Gamba, and played with great finesse by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Vocalist Mary Carewe, meanwhile, is glorious.”
The Guardian, May 2008

Thomas Adès

“… I first came across Life Story – also in this form written for Composer’s Ensemble – in a version for soprano and piano back in 1997 when it emerged on CD sung by Mary Carewe (EMI Debut CDZ 69699 2) and thought it a masterpiece. The present variant for two bass clarinets and double-bass is even more sleazy and bluesy. (…) I prefer the sexy and suggestive Carewe who really gets inside the text. On the other hand I really like the slimy clarinets, so you should track down both versions…”
Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International

Tell Me the Truth About Love: Caberet Songs by Gershwin, Britten & Weill

“In a brilliantly chosen collection of songs, Mary Carewe hits a balance between caberet style (with a touch of the old-fashioned belter) and art-song style with clean, firm vocal attack. In Britten’s five settings of Auden poems Carewe’s full-blooded approach brings them refreshingly to life. (…) One of the three Kurt Weill songs, It Never Was You, is the most moving of all. The one snag is the overblown pop-style recording.”
*** The Guardian, March 2000

Worth buying
“The muses of The Blue Angel and the Rhapsody in Blue meet the irresistible Berlin-based ensemble Blue Noise in this imaginatively programmed disc of delicious arrangements by pianist Philip Mayers of songs from inside and outside the cabaret. Mary Carewe, whose voice travels effortlessly from contemporary classical to Broadway and Hollywood, has a sweet-toned soprano with a dash of lemon and spice: she uses it artfully to steer the gentle melancholy of a song such as Franz Waxman’s Alone in a Big City, written for Marlene Dietrich in 1920s Berlin. (…) In Carewe’s pungent enounciation every word shines out (…)”
Hilary Finch, The Times, March 2000

“Gershwin, Britten and Weill, but also Waxman, Spoliansky, Hollaender and Muldowney: Mary Carewe’s definition of the caberet song is attractively wide. Her three Weill numbers, beautifully delivered and a wonderful antidote to the mauling that they usually get from the Ute Lemper school of Weill performance, all come from his Broadway shows, with It Never Was You from Knickerbocker Holiday as the highlight of the whole disc. Dominic Muldowney’s In Paris with You is a neat piece of time-travelling pastiche, which Carewe delivers with perfect judged tact, and she handles Britten’s Caberet Songs with knowing charm. An engaging collection.”
**** The Guardian, February 2000


The Best of Bond

“Carewe is well known for belting out these numbers thanks to various appearances on concert stages around the world and it’s true to say she puts her own stamp on them, while at the same time sticking close to the vocal style of those who did them originally. Highlights of course include ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, though she gives equally fine turns in Barry’s ‘You Only Live Twice’ and ‘Licence To Kill’, not to mention the highlight that is David Arnold’s ‘Surrender’ from Tomorrow Never Dies. Her fine voice does what it can with Conti’s weak melody in ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and is the best thing about ‘Nobody Does It Better’, on which she is supported by a random chamber arrangement…”

“…The performance is very fine and you couldn’t ask for a better conductor in Davis, or singer in Carewe.”

“The spine of this collection is a selection of the Theme songs given the full treatment by vocalists Mary Carewe and Simon Bowman…”

“… Whether its sixties brazen, seventies tinsel, eighties trashy, nineties grandeur or latter-day dramatic and word-clever we get a no-holds-barred approach. The production team knew they had a winner in Carewe. The correct manner is assumed without a blush or a concern for PC values and it is given with total commitment. (…) Carewe’s tigerish propulsion and vocal colouring in delivery of Licence to Kill is lush and utterly committed. (…) That assumption is discarded for a dreamy For Your Eyes Only that is all honeyed croon. Carewe re-creates a different distinctive world for each song. Why do we not hear her more often? She is magnificent in this collection. Outstanding! Turn up the volume and settle back into a nostalgic experience stunningly recreated.”
MusicWeb, November 2009