Groans as Staatsoper Director Ioan Hollander appeared before the curtain before the prelude. It had been known for several days that tenor Michael Schade wouldn’t be able to sing David, due to a sudden ‘illness’; but there was more bad news—Johan Botha, the wonderful tenor who had sung Siegmund last month, had also contracted some sort of illness which prevented him from appearing. Fairly sudden, or so Ioan said: Botha had sung all the rehearsals very well, but then had suddenly become sick only a day or so ago. In Continue reading



A fantastic Werther on Saturday; here’s the cast: Continue reading

The Morning After

Walking back quite late into the city, I saw small armies of cleaners already at work. Vienna’s amazing in that respect: all the through the evening and night, thousands of people litter the ground with broken bottles, firecrackers, bottle-rockets, beer cans, sausage wrappers, napkins, and every other conceivable form of refuse, until by 3 or 4 there’s a carpet of trash around the whole first district. Incredibly, by 7:30 it’s all gone—the whole city looks as clean as a fresh May morning. Ahh, Vienna.

Continue reading

New Year’s in Vienna

I started my New Year’s Eve perambulation by going around the corner to Dad’s flat and saying hello to everyone—some friends from Italy with their children are visiting. Then I got the materials for dinner ready and headed down to Mom’s to make dinner. When I were in Berlin last week, I rather liked the fennel risotto that Alex made, so I used their website and downloaded the recipe, and tried it out for myself. Very good.

Continue reading