Plenty of singers have discovered the power of Kurt Weill songs to spice up their programs, taking advantage of his ability to amuse, stir, or terrify listeners. September 2017 holds an unusual concentration of such programs, with a variety of singers in a variety of settings: concert hall, intimate recital spaces, and clubs. Here we list some of this month’s highlights:
September 1-3: Michael Feinstein returns to 54 Below in New York with special guest Betty Buckley! Feinstein is a Weill advocate of long standing, but you’ll have to buy a ticket to find out which Weill songs are on this program.
September 2: Star soprano Nina Stemme offers an entirely different approach to Weill’s music in Geneva with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Her wide-ranging program includes “Surabaya-Johnny” and “The Saga of Jenny,” giving her a chance to portray two entirely different protagonists back-to-back. Either song typically brings down the house, so what will both put together do? London audiences find out on 9 September, when Stemme gives the same two songs at the Last Night of the BBC Proms.
September 8: Mezzo-soprano Tammy Hensrud has for years been quietly cultivating Weill; she has sung Jenny in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny and Anna I in Die sieben Todsünden, and given any number of vocal recitals as well. Her lunchtime concert at the National Concert Hall in Dublin will consist entirely of Weill’s music in a chamber setting with pianist Niall Kinsella.
September 16: It’s hard to remember a time when Ute Lemper wasn’t singing Weill; his music has been an important part of her act for over thirty years, and even as her repertory has become more adventurous, she has never left him behind. This month she presents one of her best-loved programs, “Last Tango in Berlin,” at Turner Sims in Southampton, England.
September 16: Two in the same day in the U.K.! Soprano Emily Birsan teams up with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Sir Andrew Davis for a celebration of the USA, climaxing with Dvořák’s New World Symphony. Birsan’s contribution to the program includes a relative rarity, “Sing Me Not a Ballad” from Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence.
September 26: Soprano Julie Wieck presents a faculty recital at the Washington State University with pianist Karen Savage. Her program, “We Are America,” honors the diversity of this vast nation and will include music from one of its proudest immigrants, Kurt Weill.
If you know of a September program not listed here that includes Weill songs, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.