Pulse-Alternative Magazine

Ute Lemper brings her latest project, the 9 Secrets, to The Cadogan Hall in the heart of Chelsea. Based upon the novel ‘Manuscript Found in Accra’ by Paul Coehlo, this ‘lost’ text laid undiscovered for 700 years and is an echo from history bringing a message for modern humanity. A bible without religion that offers 9 secrets, or commandments, for a more wholesome, peaceable life.

In an impressive venue that is more associated with choral and classical music it is nevertheless the perfect location for Ms Lemper with its high ceiling that offers great acoustics for her truly international band. Backed by a six piece ensemble who share a telepathy with Ute and understand her vocal nuances a band, especially pianist and accordionist, who act as a sea upon which the vocals gently float.

A musical chameleon whose work is pleasantly hard to categorise Ute’s 9 Secrets cycle draws from a wide range of influences. Opening with ‘Solitude’ and then ‘Beauty’ which explores jazz and middle eastern rhythms to ‘Love’ in which we can hear the pull of Kurt Weill (a friendly ghost which haunts much of Ute’s work). Despite all these disparate influences what holds the whole work together is the marriage of music and text. ‘Success’ poses the question: ‘What is success?’ To which is answered: ‘It is being able to go to bed at night with your soul at peace.’ A message that is diametrically opposed to the ideals of our modern society. It is a great credit to Ute and band that they bring a real colour to Coehlo’s words. The music evokes warm golden reds, bold greens and soft yellow hues which transport the audience from a rainy Chelsea to the sun drenched ruins of Accra.

When, in a slight departure from the 9 Secrets, Ute performs Alberstein’s ‘Stiller Abend’ (from 2012’s Paris Days and Berlin Nights) it doesn’t seem out of place at all. This piece of klezmer transports us to another lost world (this time to a vanished eastern Europe) and is performed with a real joy de vivre that expresses both bliss and sorrow in equal measure, again evoking vivid warm textures, and is greeted with thunderous applause.

Despite the obvious difficulties in interpreting others’ words and setting them to music the 9 Secrets is a real success. Perhaps even more so in a live environment where an earthy, organic sound adds an extra third dimension to the text. The 9 Secrets touches upon all three major Abrahamic religions aiming to create a unity in this age of fragmentation and that is something we should all celebrate.

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World renowned chanteuse Ute Lemper makes a welcome return to the UK stage performing her celebrated show Last Tango in Berlin – The Best of Ute.

The journey starts in Berlin with Ute’s root repertoire of Brecht and Weill and the Berlin Cabaret songs. It continues into the poetic universe of the French chansons by Brel, Piaf, Ferre and further to the Argentinian world of Tango by Astor Piazzolla.

Ute walks through the backstreets of Paris, Berlin, New York and Buenos Aires and lets ancient ghosts with new faces tell the stories of the lost, of love, survival, passion, dreams, societies, the past and the future.

Ute also performs her own songs to connect the yesterday with the today through her own stories about these places and about life.

Click here to see the page with a video medley of ‘Mackie Messer’, along with ticket sales information.

Telegraph (UK)

Ute Lemper, the award-winning interpreter of Brecht and Weill, on a trip to London CREDIT: ANDREW CROWLEY FOR THE TELEGRAPH

Ute Lemper has spent more of her 54 years outside her native Germany than inside, for the past two decades preferring New York as the family home she shares with her four children, because it is a city where “no one cares less where you are from”.

The award-winning singer, actress, dancer and musical adapter – words that inadequately convey a range that stretches from reinterpreting the songs of Kurt Weill and Edith Piaf, to starring in Chicago, Cabaret and a string of celebrated art-house films, as well as voicing Disney’s The Little Mermaid – has a complicated relationship with the land of her birth. “Don’t call me German,” she once rebuked an interviewer…

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