Herbert Kretzmer, the man who wrote the English lyrics for ‘Les...

Herbert Kretzmer, the man who wrote the English lyrics for ‘Les...
Herbert Kretzmer, the man who wrote the English lyrics for ‘Les...

Herbert Kretzmer, known as the copywriter of the English version of the musical The misery, and songwriter like Good heavens and Charles Aznavours hit You, died at the age of 95.

Honors came on Wednesday from some of the leading figures in the British stage world. The misery Producer Cameron Mackintosh said: “It’s terribly sad to hear that the great Herbert Kretzmer died last night from an illness. Its wonderful words for misery will live on forever in his memory and the Christmas season in Sondheim will be all the more moving for all of us when we hear people singing without him there. God bless you Herbie. ”

Co-lyricist Tim Rice said in a tweet: “The great lyricist and man of the theater and popular song, Herbert Kretzmer, has died. From Les Mis to She, TW3, Goodness Gracious Me and so much more, he was a giant in his field. RIP Herbie. ”

In a statement, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, who wrote the lyrics and the music for the original French version of The misery, said: “There won’t be three of us bowing on stage when Cameron introduces ‘the creators of’.The misery! “Unfortunately Herbert Kretzmer passed away last night. Herbie was a lively, hardworking man, but above all a man of exceptional moral strength and a brilliant copywriter. Thanks to him, The misery found his English voice – Herbie took our original version and turned it into a work that would appeal to the rest of the world. On his 90th birthday, he took to the stage of the already frail Queen’s Theater to get a standing ovation! There is no doubt that we will keep clapping for him along with the public, grateful for his talent. Herbie may not be around anymore, but he will always be with us as there is more than a little Jean Valjean in him. ”

Kretzmer can be seen here with his wife Sybil Sever, who is attending the 2012 premiere of ‘Les Miserables’. Photo: AP

Kretzmer was born in South Africa where he started a career as a journalist and wrote the commentary for a weekly cinema newsreel. He moved to London in 1954 and pursued a dual career as a newspaper man and songwriter. He went along with that London Daily Express In 1960 and later, he became its chief drama critic, a post he held for 18 years. From 1979-87 he wrote television reviews for the Daily mail.

As a lyricist, he wrote songs for the BBC satirical show That was the week that was. He won the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for the comedy song Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren Good heavens. Other songs were two that were written with and for the French singer-songwriter Aznavour: Yesterday when I was young and hit you.

He also provided texts for the musical film Anthony Newley Can Heironymus Merkin ever forget Mercy Humppe and find true happiness?

Kretzmer is best known for writing the English lyrics for musicals The misery, which have been translated into over 22 languages ​​for performances around the world. He was one of the four recognized screenwriters and the only recognized copywriter for Universal’s film by The misery.

In an interview with The guard, he explained how The misery changed his life. “I returned to the Mail, but then it became clear that the show had a pretty secure future: I was able to quit my day job at 61, “he said.

„“The misery brought me my London house and my wife, whom I met at the opening party in New York. I often wonder how those few feet between Cameron Mackintosh’s sofa and his door changed my life. ”

He explained how to work on the famous songs of the musical, including Do you hear the people sing and I had a dreamIt was as much about reinventing them as translating them from the French original.

“The word ‘translation’ makes me shiver,” he said. “Words can resonate in one culture, but not in another. So I read the novel and then told the story in my own way. ”

He wrote the English lyrics for the stage musical Margerite, written with Michel LeGrand, Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and also worked with Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson from ABBA as copywriters for Kristina.

Kretzmer was honored by the French government, made Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters, and made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). – Reuters

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