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The Lotte Lenya Competition

Weill Repertoire Ideas

The selections listed here represent the wide stylistic range of Weill’s output. We encourage contestants to explore works with which they are not already familiar.

Many of Weill’s most famous songs are not included, as they are either not age-appropriate for Lenya applicants or do not allow a compelling dramatic presentation outside the context of the show. For different reasons, “Mack the Knife,” “September Song,” “My Ship,” “Lost in the Stars,” “Tschaikowsky,” “The Saga of Jenny,” and “Speak Low” have seldom scored well in the Competition.

Throughout the history of the competition, a number of selections have been performed with such frequency each year that it’s difficult for the judges to hear them afresh, particularly when there is so much wonderful material to choose from that isn’t over-exposed. In the Weill category, four such perennials are “What Good Would the Moon Be?,” “It Never Was You,” “I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” and “Lonely House.” Before you settle on any of these, consider less frequently performed alternatives.

Both of the above admonitions also apply to non-Weill repertory. For example, “The Beauty Is” and “The Light in the Piazza” are marvelous numbers within the show, but give a singer very little to act convincingly out of context. Similarly, “Stars and the Moon” may be both too “old” for most contestants and now over-exposed within the Competition. Of course, there is always the possibility that an exceptional performance can prove the exception to the rule.

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