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“Speak Low When You Speak Love”

The exchange of love letters between Lotte Lenya and Kurt Weill 1924-1950

On the occasion of Lotte Lenya’s 120th birthday, we read from the exchange of letters between Lotte and her husband Kurt Weill, interspersed with Weill’s classic songs. 

In Judaism, the number 120 signifies a full lifetime. Noah’s ark for example, took 120 years to build, the great prophet Moses died on his 120th birthday. It symbolizes a never-ending cycle rather than one’s passing, creating a void, it denotes a constantly renewable state. The turbulence in the lives of Lotte and Kurt, spins a common thread through the then, the now and the next – as an inspiration and a reminiscence of the vibrant Jewish center that Berlin was in the 1920’s. It also serves as a warning: Kurt and Lotte’s story is not only one of love, marriage, creativity, divorce and reconciliation, but also one of hatred and displacement.


Hans-Jürgen Schatz debuted with a lead role in the feature film „Flamme empor“. Since then he has performed in numerous theatrical productions as well as cinema and television films, including “Heimat”, “Der Fahnder” and “Salto Postale”. He earned himself a reputation as an excellent reciter with texts by Erich Kästner, Jean Paul and Thomas Mann. He often works in the field of classical music, which brought him together with the piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque, pianist Alexander Schmalcz, oboist Christoph Hartmann, harpsichordist Hedwig Bilgram, singers Michaela Kaune, Claudia Barainsky, Daniel Behle, Andreas Schmidt, Peter Schreier and Roman Trekel and conductors Andrey Boreyko, Jeffrey Tate and Christian Thielemann, among others. His interpretation of L.F. Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” for Deutsche Grammophon was awarded the “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik” and his recording of “Paddington Bear’s First Concert” (with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra) was awarded the German Record Award “ECHO Klassik”. Schatz was also awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his diverse social engagement. 

Dennis Weißert was born in 1992 in Berlin where he graduated with honors from the University of the Arts (UdK). After receiving his diploma two years ago, he continued with his artistic engagements at theaters including Saarland State Theater (“Riff” in WEST SIDE STORY), the Neukölln Opera (“Rolf Isaaksohn” in STELLA), the Comic Opera (Richard III in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS), Theater Magdeburg (“The Lion” in THE WIZZARD OF OZ) and the Admiralspalast (“Grimm” in GRIMM). Dennis is the 1st prize winner of the national singing contest and was part of the German-language premiere of the Broadway musical “Title of the Show”, in which he played the lead role HUNTER. He has been working as a songwriter and translator for years.

Sophia Euskirchen was born in Bad Honnef in North Rhine-Westphalia. While at school, she participated in many different theater productions in her hometown. In 2012, she moved to Berlin to study musical/ show at the UdK. In 2015 Euskirchen had great success in the role of the Granny Owl in the DEA of Zaufke / Lunds at the Neukölln Opera Berlin. There she performed with her fellow students from the musical / show study program at the University of the Arts.

Israeli-born Ohad Ben-Ari’s career has begun when he was 12 years old with performances as a soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli Chamber Orchestra. The following year, Ohad was officially enrolled as a student at the Tel-Aviv University, where he studied piano and composition, and later also conducting and scoring. As a pianist, Ohad has won numerous top prizes at international competitions, among them the ARD Competition and the coveted Arthur Rubinstein Master Competition. As a result, he received many invitations to appear as a soloist with orchestras and with chamber music ensembles all around the world.

Since 2010, Ohad Ben-Ari resides with his family in Berlin, where he continues his extensive work as a pianist and a composer. He partners frequently with violinists Guy Braunstein and Noah Bendix-Balgley, as well as with mandolinist Avi Avital. He also collaborates with other world-renown classical musicians such as Sol Gabetta, Andreas Ottensamer, Alisa Weilerstein, Emmanuel Pahud, Magdalena Kožená and Yuja Wang.

In the years 2011-2016, Ben-Ari has served as the artistic director of the Rolandseck Chamber Music Festival. Currently, Ohad serves as the director of the “ID Festival Berlin”, which he founded with the support of the German government in 2014. That same year, a debut solo performance of H.W. Henze’s “Requiem” took place with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

Ohad Ben-Ari’s compositions and transcriptions are performed world-wide by leading musicians. His first major original work, “Tips”, has seen its debut in 2013 with the Hamburg Symphony. In 2014, his “Concerto for Marimba” was premiered in Tokyo by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and “Violins of Hope” was commissioned and performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2015. His latest epic, “Messe di Requiem”, is scheduled to premiere this season in Hamburg.

Performance & Singing
Hans-Jürgen Schatz, Dennis Weißert, Sophia Euskirchen

Ohad Ben-Ari

Nils Szczepanski, Hans-Jürgen Schatz

© Nico Stank
© Andreas Lander
© Lenja Schultze
© Ruthe Zuntz

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Thu 18 October 20:00



15 / 12 / 10 €

1,5 hours