Angels Over Berlin @ Hamer Hall, May 21
Ute Lemper walked demurely on to the Hamer Hall stage promptly at the scheduled time and did not leave, nor stop performing until two hours later. No interval, no purely rest breaks – simply that incredible voice travelling up and down the octaves in an enthralling interpretation of songs across the genres, across the decades and across the continents. She does not cover the classics; she takes them firmly in hand and makes them her own, adding new meaning and throwing fresh light into the dark corners of works by Brecht, Brel, Piazzola and Hollaender.
Back in Melbourne after a break of seven years, she held the capacity audience from start to finish and had them standing and yelling for more. Her voice is unique: deep, dark and down in the depths one minute and soaring at full pitch into the highest range the next. The pace of her performance was relentless, energy-charged and never put a step wrong. From the wistful opening notes of Falling in Love Again through to the dulcet farewell of Ne Me Quitte Pas she took us on an emotional journey from Berlin to Argentina with detours to Paris and New York, switching in and out of languages and rarely stopping to rest.
We can only hope we don’t have to wait another seven years to see this true diva of song back here in Melbourne.