My Song For You – Marta Eggerth and Jan Kiepura Between Two Worlds
Who does not know them: Marta Eggerth and Jan Kiepura, the dream couple in film, opera and operetta – the superstars of the mid-20th century? Their voices inspired the masses, interwove the genres and converted people to opera and operetta at a time when they had long been thought to be at their end. Their performances were always an event for the media as well as for politics. One could not escape the charisma and glamour of the two. Marta Eggerth and Jan Kiepura have enchanted and seduced people on both sides of the Atlantic. Their unique timbre still moves today.
Viennese flair in New York
One could not escape the charisma and glamour of the two. Marta Eggerth and Jan Kiepura have enchanted and seduced people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Nonetheless, after the “Anschluss” by Nazi Germany in 1938, they were forced to turn their backs on Austria, which the Hungarian soprano and Polish tenor had chosen as their new home. Jan Kiepura had gone to New York in February 1938 for an engagement at the Metropolitan Opera, but when they appeared in Paris in September 1939 (during the days of the invasion of Poland and the beginning of the Second World War), the two had to realize that a return to Vienna was out of the question. Nevertheless, they took with them the vanished Austria and the Viennese flair to New York.
The exhibition „My Song for You”
Their fate was shared by countless artists, librettists, composers and musicians. Many followed them into exile, but many were also arrested, imprisoned and murdered – many of them fell into oblivion. The exhibition „My Song for You” displays the stage and film careers as well as the musical legacy of the dream couple Kiepura/Eggerth, but also points out the fates of many of the couple’s friends, companions and colleagues who accompanied their performances and stage life and who were denied a place in the collective memory by National Socialism.
The exhibition also focuses on Paul Abraham, Carl Alwin, Ralph Benatzky, Robert Gilbert, Fritz Grünbaum, Maria Jeritza, Emmerich and Charles Kálman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Lotte Lehmann, Fritz Löhner-Beda, Paul Morgan, Artur Rubinstein, Mischa Spoliansky, Billy Wilder and about 100 other people.
Curator: Dr. Susanne Korbel
Exhibition Architect: Checo Sterneck