BWW Interview: Ute Lemper Previews 54 Below Return!

BWW Interview: Ute Lemper Previews 54 Below Return!

Back by popular demand, 54 Below presents renowned international chanteuse and star of Broadway's Chicago Ute Lemper for a return engagement, running September 2-6.

The journey starts in Berlin with Ute's repertoire of Brecht and Weill and classic cabaret songs and travels to the poetic universe of Jacques Brel & Edith Piaf. Then, join Ute's voyage as she continues to Argentina and Tango Nuevo and walks the backstreets of Paris, Berlin, Buenos Aires and New York, where she's made her home for fifteen years now. Discover musical ghosts who have their own tales of loss, love, passion, survival, rebellion & opposition to tell.

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Lemper just previewed her concert exclusively for BroadwayWorld. Check out the inside scoop below!

In a nutshell, how would you describe this show? What can audiences expect?

I will be presenting my new song cycle to the Love Poems of Pablo NERUDA , with my original music. It coincides with the relase of this very conceptual album on Steinway. I admire and love Neruda's poetry anad his legacy. He was one of the few artists that was able to make a difefrence- to be politically effective and his honorable mission was to fight against facism. I chose the universal love poems to speak though to a wide audience and bring the poetry in different languages back to the international people's hearts. I wanted to create a new project in the genre of Chanson with all the beautiful elements of great chansonthat I care about, from Brel to Weill to Piazzolla, but with new and my own music.

I will be performing in Spanish, English and French using the official literature adaptations.

How would you describe your musical style?

My root repertoire are the songs of the Weimar Republic , Kurt Weill , Berlin Cabaret Songs, Also the French song book that is so poetic and overwhelmingly beautiful in its realism. I sing in the European Tradition in many languages, but I have to say that I have lived now for 18 years in New York and found great inspiration in Jazz too. I write my own songs for many years now, but always embrace the traditional songbook, as people have great affection for this past world of music that comes from the world of literature rather than pop.

This isn't your first time at 54 Below- what is it about this venue that keeps you coming back for more?

It is a wonderful place- intimate, very magically decorated, well located in the middle of Manhattan, next to Broadway and hosts an international audience. The club always welcomes me with great warmth.

The description of the show says that you will "discover musical ghosts who have their own tales of loss, love, passion, survival, rebellion & opposition to tell." Who are some musical ghosts who have had the biggest impact on you as an artist?

Well of course there is great affection for the songs by Weill, Brel, Piaf, Eisler, Piazzolla... these will always be with me .... but I have created my own ghosts over time ... more like spirits .. that are on the horizon of inspiration.

Bottom line- why should people head to 54 Below to see this show?

My concert with the Pablo Neruda Songs is a very unique and special homage to the poet that takes you into a universe of fantastic music and melodies to most heart breaking words by NERUDA and I am honored to take this musical journey that really is conceived with from my heart with all my love for life and music.

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