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Review: Ute Lemper @ Lichfield Cathedral

The Lichfield Festival seemed more international than ever on Friday when the legendary actress and singer Ute Lemper flew in from Beirut for her cathedral concert.

Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper

Amongst other career triumphs this stunningly Nordic platinum blonde, endlessly tall in black velvet, previously starred in the hit musical Chicago both on Broadway and in the West End winning an Olivier award for her London performance.

Her Festival show spectacularly evoked the smoky atmosphere of the pre-war Berlin cabarets (think Sally Bowles) and the post-war nightclubs of the Left Bank in Paris. Her programme of songs, some familiar, some less so began with the work of Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill. She was elegantly accompanied by Werner Vana Gierig on grand piano and by the virtuoso Tito Castro on the bandoneon, a sort of super accordion capable of producing a surprising range of subtle musical effects.

Later in the evening she moved onto the songs of Jacques Brel and those made famous by Edith Piaf, giving each of her own powerful versions a truly distinctive quality. Among the more familiar were Brecht/Weill’s Mack the Knife, Jacques Brel’s Ne Me Quitte Pas and a warm, romantic Lili Marlene.

As I write she’s already jetting back to her four children in New York leaving an impression of glamour we won’t easily forget.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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