The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda

This creation of Ute’s is a song cycle to the love poems of Pablo Neruda.

This very delicate and beautiful songbook is presented mainly in Spanish, but also has adaptations in French and English. It is a fantastic celebration of these especially sensual poems by Neruda who had written them on the Chilean Isla Negra after years in exile.

Born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto in 1904, Pablo Neruda took his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda.

Neruda became known as a poet in his teens, and wrote in a variety of styles from surrealist to overtly political tones, as well as erotically-charged love poems. These poems are what Ute’s Neruda Song Cycle is based on.

Because of his politically charged activities and writings, when President González Videla outlawed communism in Chile in 1948, Neruda was forced into exile. In 1971 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Neruda also collaborated with Picasso on highly politically inspired works, and Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.”

In 1973, around the time of the Augusto Pinochet coup d’état, Neruda was diagnosed with cancer and died the same year. Pinochet had denied permission to transform Neruda’s funeral into a public event, however, his legendary status prompted thousands of grieving Chileans to disobey the curfew and crowd the streets.


Here are some videos related to the project:

Above: “The Saddest Poem/N.20” from Ute’s performance at the Palau de le Musica in Barcelona, Spain. Above: The trailer and an interview with Ute about the project.
Above: Here is an excerpt from ‘The Saddest Poem/N.20’

Various Reviews:

Read a selection of Mexican reviews and articles in Spanish here and here.
Crickey.com – Ute Lemper | Concert Hall, Sydney
Broadway World Review Australia – Ute Lemper Brought Chilean Love to Adelaide
The AdelaideAdvertiser – Ute Lemper brings the house down with concert of cabaret classics and Chilean love poetry
774 ABC Melbourne – Radio Talk Show
The West Australian : A Cabaret of Love’s Passion
The Guardian : Ute Lemper: the love poems of Pablo Neruda
OutInPerth : Bea-UTE Mate! Cultural Cabaret with Ute Lemper
Greg Ross – Ute Lemper … The Hottest Vamp in Town
The Melbourne Review – Love Poems
The Austrailan (arts section) – Latter day femme fatale rises to the themes of love and liquor
Weekend Australian Review – ‘Rebel in a Red Dress’ – a great article and preview of Ute’s Australian tour
Cabaret Scenes, Joe’s Pub, New York City