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Ute Lemper: Carrying the torch

The German-born chanteuse Ute Lemper has cultivated a loyal following over the years with her interpretations of the works of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. The performer, who sees herself as a cultural ambassador for a pre-war chapter of German history, the Weimar Republic, has recently added the American poet Charles Bukowski to her repertoire. Lemper spoke with Need to Know about her latest project and the role of cabaret in contemporary culture.

Ute Lemper will perform “The Bukowski Project” at Joe’s Pub in New York City on August 19, August 21 and August 22.

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  • Mary Yamada

    Sure wish this was closed-captioned.

  • Laura

    Ooh la la. Great interview, thanks!

  • Joanne

    This video is great. I really wish I lived in New York, so I could see her perform. Thanks, PBS!

  • charles

    amazing interview. thanks. look forward to more interviews like this one.

  • Ananym

    I love Ute Lemper. She looks like Natasha Richardson here. What a beautiful woman!!!

  • michelle w.

    I saw her perform in toronto and became an instant fan. what a wonderful voice .

  • George All

    I am unfamiliar with this genre of music, but I think Ms. Lemper comments were very interesting. She seems smart, insightful, and talented. I hope to see more about her and her works.

    Thank you, PBS and Need to Know. Keep up the great work!

  • MsA

    Thoughtful treatment of a thoughtful artist that is rare in our Lady Gaga age. Thanks N2K!

  • Joao

    beautifully put together and informative.

  • Nathan

    It’s rare to see anyone interviewing people like lovely and talented Ute, thanks for the great range in your cultural coverage.

  • Valerian Ruminski

    Well how original. I have sung at the MET and Carnegie Hall..etc….and about 10 yrs ago I commissioned Bukowski songs from Persis Vehar, an American woman of letters from Buffalo. We got the rights and so far 23 songs have been published. I have performed Bukowski Cabarets in Fringe Festivals and concerts and bars for years. So, hurrah for Ute for doing something way behind the curve.

  • Christopher

    Great video, and as I am in Berlin now, fascinating to think about. Thanks!

  • r. keagy

    It’s nice to see programming on classic talents like Ute Lemper. The historical context/ visuals are great. Lovely piece!

  • mga

    Aaargh, I wish I’d read this piece before Aug 23 so I could have checked out Joe’s Pub…

  • Christine Y.

    Wonderful interview — artists like Ms. Lemper are truly an inspiration, with her thoughtful point of view coupled with real passion for her craft. Thank you for such beautiful cultural pieces as this!