Lotte Lenya

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Lenya, Lotte [ Blamauer, Karoline] (b Vienna, 1898; d NY, 1981). Austrian-born singer of mezzo-soprano quality (Amer. cit.). Went to Zurich 1914. Member of corps de ballet, Zurich Stadttheater and made stage acting début at Schauspielhaus. Moved to Berlin 1920, where she met the playwright Bertolt Brecht and the composer Kurt Weill, whose wife she became in 1926. Singing début Baden-Baden 1927 (Mahagonny). Created Jenny in Die Dreigroschenoper, Berlin 1928. Her distinctive singing style and accomplished acting made a major contribution to the success of the Brecht–Weill collaborations, especially in such songs as ‘Pirate Jenny’, ‘Surabaya Johnny’ and ‘Alabama Song’. With Weill, went to USA in 1933 and made new career in plays and films, incl. From Russia with Love.

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Lotte Lenya (lôt´ə lĕn´yä), 1898–1981, Viennese singer and character actress, b. Karoline Blamauer. The wife of the composer Kurt Weill, Lenya was the foremost singer of his songs. She and Weill fled Germany in 1933 to work in the United States, where she appeared in The Threepenny Opera (as Jenny, a role she created in Berlin), Brecht on Brecht, Mahagonny, and Cabaret. Lenya also made recordings and films (including The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, 1961, and From Russia with Love, 1963).

See the letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, ed. by L. Symonette (1997); E. Mordden, Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya (2012).

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Lenya, Lotte (1898–1981) Austrian singer and actress. Lenya became famous in two notable Brecht plays with musical scores by her husband Kurt Weill, namely The Threepenny Opera (1928) and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1930). She emigrated to the USA in 1935.

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