Friday, October 10, 2008

Ute Lemper - Unique Interpreter

Every now and then you see a performer who has an absolutely unique expressive style.

Born in Munster in 1963, Ute Lemper is not only a powerful musical theatre presence, with credits that include 'Cats' (Vienna), Lola in a recreated 'The Blue Angel', Sally Bowles in 'Cabaret' (Paris) and Velma Kelly in 'Chicago' (London revival) ... and 'All That Jazz'. But she is also a supreme cabaret interpreter of the songs of Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill, Fredrick Hollander, Stephen Sondheim, and the torch songs of Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf ... and ... and ... and!

She is also a film actor ('Pret-a-Porter'), a widely exhibited painter in a neo-classical style ... and ... and ... and!

I saw her in Sydney a couple of years ago in a one-woman show, and then her theatre piece in Paris at Le Chatelet in 2003.

At an Elizabeth Taylor gala, she presented a jazzy version of Brecht and Weill's 'Mackie Messer' ('Mack the Knife'), which I love, but I still prefer her more traditional version ...

... which is so much in keeping with Bertol Brecht's own original interpretation ...

... which is not to say that music shouldn't and must be reinterpreted 'as time goes by'.

So here is her new take on 'La vie en rose'.

It gently caresses ... and lets me contemplate, in a wonderful repose, the meanings of the lyrics.


  1. Oops..

    Dearest Nick :-P

    My latest comment posted on something or other furry manginas or elsewhere were meant here as they were - guess what? - about Ute alone.
    Well, mostly...


  2. hey pete,

    LOL - i WAS wondering about the location of your ute comment - for a moment i suspected you were telling me something quite staggering about Ms Lemper's sexual preferences and predilections - but then try as i did i couldn't quite picture her munching on a furry mangina, without having ingested some serious drugs, that is!