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The Irish in Lisbon

An excerpt of a lecture delivered by Rep. of Ireland Ambassador Frank Cogan at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna on Sept. 22, 2009.  The success of transforming Ireland from a rather poor and backwards state on the edge of Europe, living in the shadow of a larger neighbour, to the modern self-confident and progressive country of […]

To Sit, or to Stand?

To Sit, or to Stand?

Now that the jazz scene has returned to the cozy environs of Vienna’s Klubs and Kellers, it’s time to entertain the question nagging aficionados the most. Is jazz best enjoyed sitting or standing? Recent concerts in the Began in Africa series at Porgy & Bess exemplified the pros and cons of seating. Afrobeat legend Tony […]

Three Men in a Boat

Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat is essentially a collection of amusing anecdotes told by three friends as they make their way up the Thames from London. Whether the novel makes a suitable subject for drama, however, is highly debatable. On stage at Vienna’s International Theatre, the play follows Harris (Brian Hatfield), his […]

The Dubliners: “A Time To Remember”

A recent five-night stand by the quintessential Irish folk group The Dubliners answered the question of what to do when members from years past pass on: you keep playing with them anyway. At the timeless old cabaret theater Metropol on the edge of the Gürtel, the Irishmen made another annual visit to Vienna in September […]

Handel & Britten Restaged

The Theater an der Wien has opened its 2009/10 season with something old and something new – Handel’s oratorio Susanna, composed in 1748, and Benjamin Britten’s opera Death in Venice, composed just a generation ago, in 1973. Although hardly a traditional bride, the youngest opera house in Vienna, has no need for lucky tokens – […]

Radio Symphony Orchestra: Playing for Time

The perilous situation of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO) continues and, if anything, is deepening, with threats of dissolution as early as January 2011, according to orchestra representatives. A critical meeting of the ORF (the Austrian national broadcasting station) supervisory board will take place on Nov. 5, for what is expected to be a […]

Cross-Germany, Part II

A good mountain bike ride can bring on a welcome bout of amnesia. I was speeding down a slick and zigzagging single-trail through the meadows of Oberwiesenthal. The mud track led from the highest point of the race – the Fichtelberg – down over flower-strewn meadows, past ski lifts and in front on a huge […]

A Mountain Top Blessing

“How happy we are that we are here!” called out Father Miroslav. With his arms spread wide above the mountain-top altar he looked like a mountain eagle coasting on the alpine thermals. His rather beaky face made the image perfect, while his soft voice and Polish accent made the word ‘happy’ sound even happier. And […]

Vienna’s “Ideal” Film Fest

If there is one good thing about the coming of fall, besides perhaps the beautiful autumn foliage, the return of the scarf and the availability of fresh pumpkin cream soup, it is the Vienna International Film Festival, the Viennale 2009. Since its inception in 1960, Austria’s international film festival has sought to be artistically independent, […]

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