Ethel Merhaut

“The epitome of the human”

When Ethel Merhaut talks about music, you can feel her passion. At #SciBall23, Ethel will be performing the midnight extravaganza together with the Divertimento Viennese ball orchestra.

An interview with Dorian Schiffer

It is the great emotions that run through Ethel Merhaut’s repertoire: Love, pain, longing and melancholy. But the singer does not awaken these emotions through great operatic arias, but exposes them in chansons and Viennese songs of the first half of the 20th century. During this year’s midnight performance at the Ball of Science, Ethel Merhaut will kiss many a lost treasure of music history awake.

This year, the Ball of Science celebrates Gregor Mendel and his legacy, the theory of heredity. What do you think, is your singing talent inherited or learned?

ETHEL MERHAUT: I think it takes a certain talent to be a singer. But just like anything else, it takes a lot of work, perseverance and discipline. It’s always the mix of heredity and environment that makes the difference.

Mendel must also have had discipline when he studied the natural sciences in Vienna in the mid-19th century. At that time, people in Vienna were listening to Schumann, Schubert and Liszt: Is Romanticism something for you?

ETHEL MERHAUT: I would basically describe myself as a romantic person. In music, too, of course: Schumann, Schubert – how can you not find this music beautiful? Schumann in particular is the essence of the emotional for me.

What songs can we look forward to in the midnight extravaganza?

ETHEL MERHAUT: We will play parts from our program “In Women’s Paradise” with the forgotten divas, but only the filet pieces. Among them are Yiddish songs from the 1930s, as they were popular at the time at the American Yiddish Theatre in New York. And “Waldemar” will probably be there, too.

TICKETS for the concert evening with Ethel Merhaut on February 27 can be purchased here: