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Märchenwelt at the Volksoper

Märchenwelt at the Volksoper

The Volksoper started the dance season with two premieres on their evening of Märchenwelt or Fairy Tale World. Staatsoper dancer and young choreographer Andrey Kaydanovsky opened the evening with an updated Ugly Duckling to an excellent performance of Ravel’s Pictures from an Exhibition. In an evening of anthropmorphism, Patrick Hullman’s performance as a tyrannical turkey […]

Vienna’s New Nutcracker

Vienna’s New Nutcracker

Every child should see The Nutcracker at least once. But if you want her to remember and him to treasure the occasion, best to be very careful which Nutcracker you choose. Thus the new Nutcracker at Vienna State Opera is not a bad choice. It’s a Russian version, from Rudolf Nureyev, one of his first […]

Summer Castles In the Sky

Summer Castles In the Sky

There’s always a hint of danger when going to an outdoor summer concert around Vienna. The chance it will rain lies at around 50 per cent. And indeed: This year was the Wiener Operettensommer’s fourth season, but I still haven’t had a picnic in the Theresianum park or seen its stage, reputedly in front of a […]

Carmina Burana: Daliesque Orgy

The curtain opens to a full choir of 70 filling the entire backstage singing at full voice. Front stage stood a two-metre figure in a long dress with a 40cm bee’s bun hairdo, Fortuna herself (Florian Hurler). The enormous Hurler throws his hands up in the air summoning the gods, while around his feet half-dressed […]

Vienna is Not Paris

Rarely has the stage of the Staatsoper appeared so impressive. The curtain opens to reveal dozens of dancers on three levels, the women in gleaming white tutus, the men in black leggings and handsome white shirts. But first impressions are often misleading. So it is with Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc. The audience collectively takes […]

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 […]

Michelangelo – Sculpting Dance in Living Marble

Michelangelo – Sculpting Dance in Living Marble

The stage juts out into the audience; as the curtains open we see a tableau vivant of a sculpting studio in motion. The orchestra fills the deep back of the theatre, with the audience both around and between. This was just the first of several successful staging decisions of the evening. With the orchestra pit […]

A Tale of Two Giselles

Audiences love Giselle. Even after 150 years, the legendary ballet is, along with Swan Lake, one of the two obligatory repertoire pieces for every classical ballet company and ballerinas judge themselves on their performance in the title role. With La Sylphide, Giselle is also one of the world’s greatest romantic ballets. But it endures not […]

Breaking Point(e)

True to Hollywood’s world-conquering strategy of transcending the boundaries between tastes, sexes, age and any other characteristics that might make a person decide NOT to see a movie, The Black Swan alchemically achieved being everything for everybody – and in the process nothing to many. It’s a ballet movie for horror fans, a female movie […]

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