October 18, birthday of Lotte Lenya

 

Today I feature Lotte Lenya, whom I believe I first saw in the role of Rosa Klebb, in the James Bond movie, Dr. No From Russia With Love” (Thanks Marie Marshall!).  It might have been my brother Bob, who said, “That’s Lotte Lenya.  She was the wife of Kurt Weill.”  Now Weill I knew because my father was Hungarian.  The connection is Ernie Kovacs a Hungarian-American, who seized on the power of the new medium, television, and created absurdist and surrealistic sketches that must have inspired the crew of Monty Python.  So, what’s the connection to Weill?  A running gag on Kovac’s show was his blackout sight gags which appeared periodically on the screen that had an oscilloscope streaming a  version of Weill’ “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” (Mack the Knife) from Die Dreigroschenoper (3 Penny Opera) sung in a very exaggerated manner by a German comedian named Wolfgan Neuss.  Here is an example:

Lenya married Weill in the 1920s in Germany after starring in the 3 Penny Opera in the role of Pirate Jenny. After that she became a famous stage and film star until she and Weill fled Germany after the National Socialists (i.e., Nazis) came to power. They settled in New York and lived for a time in Connecticut. After Weill died, she reprised a number of his songs, but my favorites is still Pirate Jenny’s song.

“Seeräuber Jenny” (Pirate Jenny)

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About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

4 Responses to October 18, birthday of Lotte Lenya

  1. kvennarad says:

    It was ‘From Russia With Love’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thom Hickey says:

    Wonderful stuff! Thom.

    Like

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