Arts, Culture & Media

Bettina Jonic's The Bitter Mirror

Anchor Lisa Mullins speak to American-Croatian singer Bettina Jonic. Her 1975 album �The Bitter Mirror� is a Bob Dylan and Bertolt Brecht song cycle. It's now out on CD for the first time.

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Anchor Lisa Mullins speak to American-Croatian singer Bettina Jonic. Her 1975 album �The Bitter Mirror� is a Bob Dylan and Bertolt Brecht song cycle. It's now out on CD for the first time.

Bettina Jonic has had a long career as a multi-talented singer, performer and director. She's worked in classical music, opera and the theater. One of her best-known works was an album she released in 1975 �The Bitter Mirror: Songs by Bob Dylan and Bertolt Brecht.�

The album has just been re-released on CD for the first time.

The Bitter Mirror juxtaposes two sets of protest songs written for two very different audiences. Betrolt Brecht was a poet and lyricist in Nazi-era Germany. Dylan, of course, was writing his music in America during the Vietnam War.

And musically, Jonic said the recording required her to leave her comfort zone.

�I have a very well trained voice and projection is no problem� those songs need that edge,� Jonic said.

Jonic said she conceived the song cycle in Portugal, in 1974. It was a time of political turmoil there.

Witnessing it, and performing Brecht's songs afterward, Jonic was struck by how protest songs can be relevant in a time and space different from their own. She said that's why she decided to combine the compositions of Brecht and Dylan into one performance.

�When I put it together I wanted to break that time lock, which is always imposed on, in a sense, politically motivated text � it's lost over a period of time when songs are written for a particular political reason,� Jonic said.