Photographs by

Mark B. Anstendig

Helen Vita

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The great cabaret artist Helen Vita.

Helen was the best. I adored her. Not only was she a superbly fine cabaret artist, she was a fine classical musician. She was born in Switzerland and her parents were classical musicians. Her father, as I remember, played cello. Helen played the Cello, and piano, and sang, and, and...

In the end of the 50s, a set of naughty ancient French chansons became popular in France. Eventually they were translated into German in, if possible, even naughtier form, and Helen was chosen to record them in German. They were an immediate success.

I don't remember how I met Helen, but it was exactly at this time and we became close friends. When we met, I already had my standing exhibits at the Eden Saloon and I told the owner, Ralph Eden, about Helen. Eden came to hear her and immediately opened an after dinner, after Theater night spot for Helen to sing her Chansons. It was called the Schluesselloch (The Key Hole). It became the "in" after theater night spot.

The recordings of the Chansons with ensemble accompaniment are good, but not as fine as Helen was live at the Schlusselloch. At the Schluesselloch, her performances were as delicate and fine as any music making anywhere. They could be absolutely sublime.


© 2006 Mark B. Anstendig. All rights reserved.

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