One touch of genius


One touch of genius

Songs for Broadway by Leonard Bernstein and Kurt Weill

"I think Leonard Bernstein knew every note of Kurt Weill ... and he's the one who carried the mantel after Weill's death ..." said none other than Kurt Weill's widow, singer-actress Lotte Lenya. In fact, Bernstein's compositions for the stage are in many ways influenced by Weill's oeuvre - both by the works that were produced in Germany with Bertolt Brecht, and even more by Weill's Broadway musicals written during his time in American exile. Bernstein and Weill’s musicals set the tone and the standard for the Broadway stage with their sophisticated lyrics and their equally exuberant and heartbreaking music. 

New York-born and Berlin-based mezzo-soprano Fredrika Brillembourg explores in “One Touch of Genius” the similarities between Leonard Bernstein's and Kurt Weill's music and takes the listener on a biographical journey through time. In homage to the beauty and humor of the songs of these two great composers, the program ties musical threads between Bernstein's On the Town and Weill's One Touch of Venus, between Weill's Lost in the Stars and Bernstein's Wonderful Town, between Lady in the Dark and Candide, between Street Scene and West Side Story, between Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Peter Pan and Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday.

Fredrika Brillembourg has appeared at major opera houses including the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, De Nederlandse Opera, the Washington National Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Teatro la Fenice, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Frankfurt Opera; as well as at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and at the Bregenz Festival. Her repetoire includes the main roles of her fach such as Carmen, Charlotte, Octavian, Brangaene, Marguerite, and Orfeo, and Fredrika Brillembourg is also highly acclaimed for modern works by Toshio Hosokawa (Hanjo, The Raven), Gyorgy Ligeti (Le Grand Macabre) Tan Dun (Marco Polo) and Gottfried von Einem (Jesu Hochzeit).  

Growing up in New York City she attended Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts and grew up as schoolmates with the composer’s children. “One touch of Genius” was developed as part of the Komische Oper Berlin’s Bernstein 100 Festival where she is also singing the Old Lady in Barrie Kosky’s new production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.

To book this concert program please contact: Doreen Lutz -


Additional Excerpt


© · Fredrika Brillembourg