News from the State Opera in Vienna

6 Sep

There are over two pages in today’s Kurier about the decision of the Music Director of the State Opera, Franz Welser-Möst, to step down, with comments from the current General Director, the former General Director, the head of the holding company for the national theaters, and the Ministry of Culture. There is even a message of solidarity to the General Director from the chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic, saying that the orchestra, from whose members the Vienna State Opera Orchestra is assembled, will do whatever it can to make sure that performances go ahead as planned. Not excessive, I think, in a city where, I have read, the Viennese, even those who had never set foot inside, stood in the streets in tears watching the Opera burn after it was hit by a bomb on 12 March 1945, so ironically close to the end of the war.  According to my 1987 Fodor’s guide, “… the Viennese made it one of their first priorities … to rebuild their beloved Opera.” Vienna, Fodor’s goes on to point out, “… is a city where opera is taken very, very seriously. “

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