Great European Lives with Charlie Connelly is brought to you by the award-winning newspaper, The New European. It delves into the lives of some of the greatest, and sometimes forgotten, Europeans ever lived. Read more from Charlie each week by subscribing to The New European at http://theneweuropean.co.uk/subscribe
S2 Ep15: Tamara de Lempicka
10:29In this episode, host Charlie Connelly discusses the life of Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka. Her Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti has been said to define the 1920s in a single image, becoming the personification of the Jazz Age. Her aim was never to emulate, but to create a new style with bright, luminous colours, drawing out elegance from the models she used. However, the following decade was defined by a rise in autocracy and, troubled by the Hitler youth, she and her husband left for America. However, the country didn’t quite understand her and gossip columns named her ‘the Baroness with the brush’. Still, she continued to epitomise the time between the Russian revolution and Nazism. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep14: Seve Ballesteros
10:29In this episode, host Charlie Connelly examines the life of Spanish professional golfer Seve Ballesteros. There haven’t been many golfers like him, and perhaps there will never be one like him again. He possessed a self-belief and willingness to attempt the impossible that landed him 87 tournament victories, including three Opens and two Masters. His unprecedented talent changed the face of the game into the glamourous spectacle it is known for today. But, this undeniable genius did not save him from moments of sporting decline and loss. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep13: Sacha Distel
11:58In this episode, host Charlie Connelly explores the life of French singer Sacha Distel. According to a contemporary, he was underrated as a musician and composer, uncomfortable with the image he had traded off of for 40 years. With his green eyes, cheekbones and dazzling smile, he captured the hearts of 70s housewives, much to the dismay of their husbands. But, despite this charming appearance and life revolving around french resorts and restaurants, the man was not all it seemed. A contradictory character, he was always happiest playing jazz guitar, rather than his cheesy tunes, surrounded by family for the quiet life. A yearning that was a consequence of a hole ripped in his life at an early age as a result of war and anti-semitism. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep12: Vaslav Nijinsky
12:33In this episode, host Charlie Connelly looks at the life of ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. His performances oozed presence and, in a time before televised performances, he gained his reputation by word of mouth. His health, however, deteriorated as he got older, being diagnosed as schizophrenic by the man who invented the disease and he eventually died of kidney failure at the age of 61. Nonetheless, he is remembered as the dancer who defied gravity and soared, as if released from the bonds and cares of the world itself. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep11: Maria Callas
13:29In this episode, host Charlie Connelly discusses the life of American-born Greek soprano Maria Callas. As the greatest operatic soprano of the 20th century, she had a unique star quality. While her voice divided critics and audience members alike, it was incomparable. As one adoring fan called out from the Carnegie bleachers, Callas was opera. Everything she did, she did for the benefit of her audience, and she did so with magnificence. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep10: Zinaida Serebriakova
11:38In this episode, host Charlie Connelly explores the life of Russian painter Zinaida Serebriakova. With her mother being a talented sketch artist and her father a noted sculptor, art was a part of her life from the offset. 1917 should have marked her creative peak, however, the revolution broke out before her nomination for membership of the Academy of Arts could be ratified and her husband Boris Serebriakov was arrested, dying in prison of typhus. In 1965, more than 40 years after she left, she returned to Russia to see her exhibition in the Capital - she returned a different person and in a different time. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep9: Jean Bart
10:57In this episode, host Charlie Connelly examines the life of French naval commander and privateer Jean Bart. Made a Knight of the Order of St. Louis by Louis XIV, he is remembered as one of Europe’s most extraordinary maritime figures. By the end of the Nine Years' War, he was responsible for the sinking of 30 enemy warships. Today, a statue of him resides in the square of the town which carries his name, his sword raised and his gaze focussed out onto the English Channel. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep8: Viktor Tsoi
11:43In this episode, host Charlie Connelly delves into the life of Soviet-Russian singer-songwriter Viktor Tsoi. In the 1991 attempted Russian coup, his song Khochu Peremen blasted out from speakers at the barricades. 20 years later in Belarus, the song became the soundtrack to the uprising against the autocratic President Alexander Lukashenko. But, the singer-songwriter never saw his music as being overtly political, he was focused on a different type of change - the one that occurs within an individual. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep7: Hedy Lamarr
12:28In this episode, host Charlie Connelly looks at the life of Austrian-born American actress, inventor, and film producer Hedy Lamarr. British actor George Sanders once said that “she was so beautiful, that when she walked into a room, everyone would stop talking”. But, despite being one of the most famous women of the golden age of cinema, it is only recently that she has received credit for some of her greatest achievements, her contribution to modern technology. As you listen to this episode on your electronic device, you owe Lamarr a debt of gratitude. To this day the question remains, was she an actor who invented, or an inventor who acted. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.
S2 Ep6: Brigitte Helm
11:44In this episode, host Charlie Connelly explores the life of German actress Brigitte Helm. She had barely acted when turning in one of the greatest performances of the silent era in Fritz Lang's 1927 Metropolis. However, despite her talent and versatility, she was constantly being miscast as a femme fatale or vamp, which did not go unnoticed by film critics. After marrying and having a child, she lived out her life in a Swiss town nearing the Italian border, escaping the rising anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany and refusing any interviews. Defined by a decade of her life she couldn’t control due to tight contractual agreements, once she then regained this control she would not relinquish it anytime soon. Enjoyed this episode? Let us know by tweeting @TheNewEuropean.