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Summer Operas and the New Season

Summer Operas and the New Season

Although September is the herald of autumn, it is also the time of new beginnings, of first days at a whole range of new experiences. So it is a sort of springtime too, full of freshness and new growth. The three big opera houses start the season with exciting new programmes and new artists: singers, […]

Summertime is opera time

Summertime is opera time

Vienna’s houses are dark. Does that mean no opera for two months? Well, not all of them are closed. For one, Theater an der Wien has Jacques Offenbach’s famous comic opera Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) in July and Donizetti’s belcanto opera La Donna del Lago based on Sir Walter Scott’s narrative poem […]

Top Ten from ‘11–‘12!

Top Ten from ‘11–‘12!

June is, in some ways, the most significant month in the annual opera calendar, the month where past and future meet. There is a certain anxiety as the season draws to a close and two months of darkness in the great houses looms.But first, there are the month’s operas to be enjoyed, made all the […]

Opera Impressions

Opera Impressions

The recent presentation in the Volksoper of two one-act operas in very cleverly similar settings focussed attention on the subject of theatre and reality. From there, it is a short leap to musing about the role of opera as theatre. The time is particularly relevant as all three houses have now published their programmes for […]

From Spring to Festivals

From Spring to Festivals

Once again Spring is in the air, full of revival, renewal and anticipation. All around us there is much to look forward to as the evenings lengthen and nature bursts into early bloom. This anticipation applies also to opera and does so with an urgency we mustn’t overlook. Although the season still has three months […]

Puccini’s Double Bills

Puccini’s Double Bills

The French film L’Artiste revives memories of the good old days of silent films and later times when cinemas were large theatres in which the show consisted of two films separated by an interval. The secondary film was known as the B movie. Those were the days…. However, in the world of opera, the practice […]

Time to Celebrate Some More

Time to Celebrate Some More

Although the celebrations of Christmas and the New Year have slipped by, there is still much to celebrate, at least in the world of opera. On the first of February we celebrate the midpoint of the season when we can review the operas enjoyed to date and look forward to what is to come. We […]

Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Mozart and Strauß

Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Mozart and Strauß

It is that festive time again. The celebrations for Christmas and the New Year seem to begin earlier and last longer and longer as time goes by. In December and January there are more than 20 operas to be enjoyed in Vienna, to say nothing of ballet, operetta, musical, concert and other special performances on […]

Traviata Heartstrings

Traviata Heartstrings

Innovation is as important in the theatre or opera house as it is in any other area of human endeavour.  Nobody in their right mind regrets the passing of gaslamps and other fire hazards which plagued theatres for centuries. Generally speaking, innovations are enhancements to be welcomed. But is it always so? Empirical studies over […]

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