World renowned chanteuse Ute Lemper makes a welcome return to the RNCM, performing songs from throughout her illustrious career as well as selections from her new album, Time Traveller.
With a career spanning four decades, Ute Lemper has made her mark on the Broadway and West End stage, in films, in concert and as a prolific recording artist. Known for her unsurpassed interpretations of Brecht and Weill, she’s regarded as the premier interpreter of their works and continues to record the chanson of Brel and Piaf alongside multilingual material by Phillip Glass, Sondheim, Ferre, and Piazzolla.
Having last performed at the RNCM with an ode to renowned German-American actress and singer, Marlene Dietrich, she returns this April to perform — alongside beloved interpretations — her own songs, many taken from her new album Time Traveller.
This unique record opens a dialogue between a mature artist and her younger self. Over 20 years ago, Lemper recorded several original songs that went unreleased, fading from memory until the source tapes were rediscovered on a shelf in 2021. Lemper and producer Todd Turkisher (also her husband) reinvented and re-recorded some of the material in what became something of a collaboration with Lemper’s younger voice and ideas.
But there’s brand new material, too, which draws on the wisdom Lemper has collected across her storied life and career. “As you get older,” she says, “you constantly uncover new secrets, and these secrets can be so much better illuminated in lyrics and music.” Weaving threads of pop, rock, jazz, soul and chanson, these tracks work off tension and release, moving in waves between the stillness and the hurricanes of life.
Taken as a whole, Time Traveller offers a fascinating insight into the way Lemper has developed as an artist and as a person. Her show, no doubt, will offer much the same. The power of her live performances is well documented (“She takes her place centre stage, and owns it” – The Guardian) and her Rendezvous with Marlene show was a huge success at the RNCM in 2020. But there’s a feeling that this time around, with such a very personal set of songs to share, her upcoming performance at the College will be a particularly special one.