Ute Lemper
A Contemporary Voice of German Cabaret
  Related Resources
• Germany/Austria
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Donna's Ute Lemper Page (fan site with photos, biography and discography)
• Official Site at Decca, with Audio
• Article in Cosmopolis

She is a performer with a dynamic stage presence. One of her musical missions is to keep German Cabaret alive. Another is to interpret the songs of some of music's most accomplished songwriters, making them her own at the same time.

Her name is Ute Lemper, and she is known by audiences in Germany and beyond for her work in films, on stage and on recordings. She was born in Münster, Germany, in 1963, the daughter of a banker father and a mother who was an opera singer. She went on to study dance and drama at the The Dance Academy in Cologne and the Max Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in Vienna.

A young Ute Lemper began performing in jazz and piano bars at the age of 15. After a stint in a punk band, she spent two years as a performer in plays by legendary playwrights Fassbinder and Chekhov, at the Staatstheater Stuttgart. In the early 1980's, she was "discovered" by none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber, who offered her her a part in the Viennese production of Cats.

Ute Lemper From there, she went on to other stage productions, most notably in the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, in Lyon, Düsseldorf, Rome and Paris. Art definitely imitated life in Lempers case, because she got into the music of Kurt Weill with a passion, Weill being one of the Cabaret genre's most noted composers. In 1987, in New York, she performed in a musical based on Weill's life. The show ended up taking Lemper around the World, with engagements everywhere from Berlin to Jerusalem.

An all-around artist, Lemper acted in several films such as Robert Altman's Prêt à Porter (1994), in which she appeared in a nude scene, and Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books. She is also an accomplished writer of books and articles and a renowned recording artist with a wide range of albums of Berlin cabaret and Kurt Weill.

Her latest album is called Punishing Kiss and includes songs by writers such as Nick Cave, Philip Glass, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello. Perhaps her evolution into English-language pop has to do with her current surroundings. After a time in Paris and London, she is now settled in New York with her husband, American actor and comedian David Tabatsky, along with their young children Max and Stella.

Ute Lemper Essential Recordings (that are available in North America):

Ute Lemper Performs Kurt Weill (Milan), 1991
Berlin Cabaret Songs, 1997 (This album is available in both English and German versions)
All That Jazz: The Best of Ute Lemper, 1998
Punishing Kiss, 2000