Tonight, 8pm, Studio 1, RTHK
It's probably just as well that cabaret singer Eva Meier is used to travelling. She's in constant demand in Europe, but since last August, when her husband, Frank Burbach, was appointed German consul-general in Hong Kong, she has been based here.
'It makes life a little more complicated,' Meier says. 'It's always to and fro, but I would love to do more work in Hong Kong.'
She makes her local debut tonight at RTHK in an intimate show, to be recorded for later broadcast. It will reflect her approach to the sophisticated songs associated with classic German cabaret performers.
Meier has been compared to Marlene Dietrich, Lotte Lenya and Ute Lemper, and she brings an outstanding voice and a finely tuned, theatric sense to her repertoire. Trained as an actress, she rose to prominence as a singer at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.
'I was invited after that concert to do a [Bertolt] Brecht evening,' she says. 'That, of course, is more difficult to sing because the composers are more complicated. I worked for two years to do that.'
Her first CD, Eva Meier Sings Brecht, reflected her immersion in the repertoire. But having made her mark with settings of the German dramatist's lyrics by Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Peter Fischer, she broadened her horizons. 'I tried to enlarge my repertoire step by step, also doing the American Weill songs and other repertoire from the 20s, 30s and 40s from composers like Friedrich Hollaender, who did so many songs for Marlene Dietrich.'
Her latest CD, Berlin Cabaret Songs, includes music by Mischa Spoliansky, Hollaender and Franz Waxman, and is a template for tonight's performance, for which she'll be accompanied by classical pianist Paul Cibis.
'Before, I was very strict,' she says. 'I would just do a Brecht evening or a [Kurt] Tucholsky evening. Now, I'm more free with the material. I don't want to just be in those times - I also want to bring over some element of our times.'
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