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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 […]

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 […]

The Vienna Philharmonic: An Orchestra, a ring and a past

The Vienna Philharmonic: An Orchestra, a ring and a past

In January, the buzz echoed across the globe: The Vienna Philharmonic, one of the world’s most renowned orchestras, had finally opened its archives to a team of historians. By the second week of March, a few days before the 75th anniversary of Austria’s Anschluss with Nazi Germany, the website of the Philharmonic was updated with […]

The Staatsoper Ballet: Rivalries Centre Stage

The Staatsoper Ballet: Rivalries Centre Stage

Midway through Manuel Legris’ third season at Staatsoper, Vienna is becoming a ballet city. What a difference one person can make! Actually it’s two people: Legris has the firm backing of Staatsoper General Director Dominique Meyer, whose passion for dance can be heard in extended speeches after each premiere. This is a stark contrast to […]

Praise for Vienna Ballet

Last minute changes in lineup at the Vienna Ballet didn’t detract from a strong premiere on 20 February at the Wiener Staatsoper. Four contemporary viewpoints from different choreographers comprise Dance Perspectives (Tanzperspektiven). Understudy and newcomer Natascha Mair (18), performing in David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to My Skin, especially garnered praise, as did male star […]

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 […]

Jazz Fest Wien 2012

Jazz Fest Wien 2012

Readers of this column will recognise that its very existence is a tribute to the vibrant Vienna jazz scene. While a national capital and historical metropole, Vienna is a comparatively small city of 1.8 million and far from what one could call trendy. All the same, a good case can be made that this is […]

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 […]

The Spitting Image

Standing on the street corner in front of the Opera, about to cross towards Karlsplatz, the man next to me was making odd sounds in his throat. He hacked and coughed and eventually summoned all his gutteral power and heaved a big wad of spit right at my feet. I stepped back, a bit shocked […]

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