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Pianist David Aronson: The Man Behind The Singers

Pianist David Aronson: The Man Behind The Singers

The coffee had just arrived as pianist and conductor David Aronson came gliding past the broad windows of the Café Sperl on Gumpendorferstrasse in Vienna’s 6th District, his long, swinging strides bringing him seconds later in through the panelling and bevelled glass of the entry way. (He lives right around the corner on Theobaldgasse and […]

Seven Days in Vienna

Seven Days in Vienna

The night before my flight to Vienna, I sat down to watch Before Sunrise (1995). Despite brutally highlighting the current lacklustre state of my love life, I did enjoy it. Scenes captured Vienna’s beautiful landscape – romance at the Riesenrad, the Danube in the moonlight, seedy bars. In some ways, the film can even be […]

Steel City Transforming

Steel City Transforming

“Willkommen! Welcome! Bienvenido!” reads the wall of the Gasometer holding tower of Voest Alpine. When arriving by train, the first sights of Linz are the tall chimneys and smoking furnaces of the huge steel works that have dominated the City for over a century: The capital of Upper Austria is called “Steel City” (Stahlstadt) for […]

Shakespeare in the Park Midsummer and Beyond

Shakespeare in the Park Midsummer and Beyond

Baz Luhrmann gleaned the requisites for his 1993 production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, rummaging through the Australian Opera’s warehouses. Constrained by budgets, the director fashioned Regent Park replete with rotunda, centre-stage, in which he delivered the orchestra from their stygian pit. And from under the rotunda, a boys chorus paddled forth from […]

Book Review: Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Book Review: Erich Wolfgang Korngold

“The genuine artist creates at a distance from his own time, even for a time beyond,” wrote the composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold in October, 1955, in the foreword to the book Faith in Music by protégé Ulric Devaré. It was, in fact, Korngold’s last published essay, written as a reflection on his life as a […]

Christoph Waltz directs Rosenkavalier

After winning his second Oscar in February, the Austrian Actor  Christoph Waltz announced that he will stage Richard Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavalier, with the libretto by Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerpen, the Netherlands. The comedy is set in the aristocratic circles of late 18th century in Vienna. The Vienna native told […]

Kristin Lewis: La Diva, American Style

Kristin Lewis: La Diva, American Style

American soprano Kristin Lewis made opera news in Vienna on 14 March, making her debut as Aida in the revival premiere at the Wiener Staatsoper – heralded by the Austrian daily Die Presse that praised her sonorous range in the difficult role, from the deepest tones to blossoming, “even luminous” heights. Sitting down with Lewis […]

Kammeroper: Miniature Forms of Musical Theatre

Kammeroper: Miniature Forms of Musical Theatre

In June it seemed as if the Vienna Kammeroper (Chamber Opera) had sung its final season. It seemed like such a loss: The little theatre at the rim of the opera scene in Vienna would have been celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2013. But in a new twist to the story, in the last months, […]

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 […]

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