I see Kurt and the Sophisticated Lady as a chance to add that spoonful of sugar to the medicine that has to go down.
Let me explain. Essentially, I’m by nature a lightweight – I’m at my best when I can have a laugh. But I can’t entirely ignore the wider world, and certainly not in the face of what looks like a continuing rise of the political far right. There are changes afoot that could very well come to personally affect us all – even those of us who have until now been cocooned in a comfortable European democracy.
Kurt and the Sophisticated Lady is my attempt to remain connected by singing about themes that remain relevant today. Some of the songs we have chosen to perform have texts about the failures of ‘the system’ and about the dangers of intolerance and a lack of empathy. Others look at aspects of the human condition, such as the effects of unrequited love and abusive behaviour.
These are important themes and they are thought-provoking texts, but that’s not enough for me.
I want also to celebrate the beauty of Kurt Weill’s music: his gift for melody and his unique mix of classical, cabaret, dance and jazz in these songs. I want to share the poetry of the texts: to celebrate their wit and cleverness as well as their underlying message. And I want to celebrate the talent of my pianist (you, Andrew Wise!) and share the interpretations that we have worked on together.
And some of our songs are just a bit of fun 😉