Editor's Letter
Enter, stage left The Irish dramatist Seán O’Casey once said, “All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” As an expat it can feel like you’ve been rehearsing the wrong play. Someone just hands you a new script and says, “You’re on in five.” When I moved to Vienna as a young teenager I spoke no German....
Letters to the Editor
We’ve been getting great feedback from our readers over social media. Thanks very much for your thoughts, ideas and insights! Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! To the Editor, Your magazine was recommended to me by a very dear friend. First, I wasn’t sure what to expect but now I love it. It’s a great idea to have an Austrian...
Editorial
Trump notwithstanding, America has been far more successful than Austria at making newcomers feel part of society. The key is approach: A fervent belief in the American dream and some broken English is often all it takes to be made welcome. And as long as you pledge your unequivocal allegiance to the stars and stripes, it’s perfectly acceptable – even...
editorial
Austrian football fans have reason to celebrate. Against all odds, their team has not only qualified for the European Championship, but is also taken as a serious contender in a group with Portugal, Iceland and Hungary – a first in the modern history of Austrian football. Not, however, if one looks further back. In the early 1900s, footballers from across...
Editorial
Austria’s new media-savvy chancellor Christian Kern offers a “New Deal,” while facing down the far right It was high drama in the Austrian Parliament on the morning of June 15, as FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache, amid hooting and hollering from his backbenchers, lit into the leadership, accusing them of manipulating the refugee numbers. Under the heading “security, not statistical trickery,”...
Op-ed
Austria still needs to stamp its identity on supporting roles in international film and TV productions. One Brit in town has a mission to help things along My relocation from London to Vienna in 2012 was a no-brainer. The tools of my trade were no more than a phone and an internet connection; I simply asked my office to patch...
Sharon Booth, dancer
We met Sharon Booth, an inpirational Canadian-born, Juilliard-educated dancer who found her way to Vienna, now teaching contemporary dance at the Staatsoper Sharon Booth was nicknamed “The Giver.” She says this comes from giving her all on stage and to her students. Admittedly, even in conversation, this mother of two delivers energy with every word she utters. Born in Montreal, she studied at the Juilliard School...
Vienna’s dramatists have a long, brilliant and turbulent history. But no year was quite so momentous as 1929, the year modernity was born. Hedwig Kiesler was determined to act. She had traveled all the way to Berlin to study under the great Viennese director Max Reinhardt. But it seemed impossible to get an audition. So during a rehearsal, she slipped into...
Austrian Refugee Crisis
Austria's true challenge of the ongoing refugee crisis lies not in handling the immediate influx, but in making sure those who stay, stay with a purpose. Nothing has made a deeper impression on the Austrian public over the past year than the arrival of 88,912 asylum seekers in this small, prosperous and landlocked Alpenrepublik. Images of railway stations crowded with...
Profiles
Raise the curtain! Cue the lights! For these Vienna-based performers, the show must go on. A classical violinist, an opera soprano, a musical theater starlet, and a singer-songwriter tell us what it takes to make a living on the stage. Angelika Ratej Musical theater actress When I explain that I do musical theater – singing, dancing, acting – people here are like, ‘Wow!...
How to...
These tips will help you to channel your inner Anna Netrebko, Elfriede Jelinek, Christoph Waltz or Fred Astaire. Taking in a Zauberflöte at the Staatsoper or King Lear at the Burgtheater is the easy part. The real challenge for creative expats is finding a like-minded community in their adopted city and immersing themselves within it. Fortunately, Vienna is rich with...
Computer intelligence in music
Scientists are teaching computers about the complex factors that make music expressive. Might computers outperform humans someday? The digital age has been a mixed blessing for musicians. Digital electronics can supplant live performers and illegal copying of recordings has decimated royalty payments. Soundtrack composers can now access vast archives of digitally sampled instruments and voices – such as the Vienna...
A group of gifted high schoolers will defend Austria’s “physical” fitness at the International Young Physicists’ Tournament in early July The Austrian team’s enthusiasm is palatable as it gears up for tournament, the culmination of a year’s worth of effort. Success is celebrated with high fives and cheers. No, this is not the European Football Championship. This challenge is about...
How young, savvy art producers bring new talent directly to the public by exploiting new spaces, technology and social media, thereby sidestepping the art world’s gatekeepers Suddenly, a phalanx of silent, stony-faced soldiers in helmets and heavy boots, appears through an archway of the old Imperial Stables, a disturbing sight in the midst of a peaceful European city square. Lined...
Books
Doing business with people from different cultural backgrounds can be tricky. Understanding them is the first step to making it work There is an old adage that the British and Americans are two peoples separated by a common language: When the British “table a discussion,” they bring it up for consideration. When the Americans “table” one, they put it aside...
Vienna’s pools are more than just a place to cool off, they are an arena for the city’s social life Vienna’s history of public bathing is about nudity, penitentiaries and Freibadpommes (poolside french fries). Want to get to the bottom of the Viennese soul? Dive no deeper than into their favorite pool. Of the more than 30 public baths and pools...
Piaristenviertel
Students and professors, officials and artists all feel at home in this venerable neighborhood If location is everything, the Piaristenviertel in Vienna’s 8th district has it all: Within walking distance of the university, City Hall and the government district, it has long attracted both civil servants and intelligentsia, living in harmony in neighborhood cafés and restaurants, both trendy and traditional. It’s...
The Calle Libre Festival turns urban walls into galleries When Jakob Kattner looks around ­Vienna, he doesn’t see the historic architecture that tourists so cherish. He is looking for the next 10-story canvas. Every August since 2014, Kattner’s Calle Libre Festival of Urban Aesthetics has made the city’s walls come alive with the sound of spray cans at work. This...
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei explores the meaning of migration at Vienna’s 21er Haus Ai Weiwei is thrilled by the possibilities of his time: “In human history, there’s never been a moment like this,” the Chinese dissident artist and filmmaker said in a recent interview. It’s been an optimism hard won. After his arrest in 2011 by the Chinese government for...
The nearby open air festivals will keep you busy while Vienna is on vacation Bathed in sunshine, white wine and world-class entertainment, the Austrian summer is practically tailor-made for the post-Woodstock era’s favorite pastime: the festival. Beyond the legendary Salzburger Festspiele (July 22–Aug 31, see On The Road), the country’s love for music old and new make the assortment one...
World Peace Choral Festival
Youth choirs from around the world sing for a better tomorrow Hosted by Vienna’s classical music posterboys the Wiener Sängerknaben, the World Peace Choral Festival encourages cultural exchange between youth from different cultures via the universal language of music. Now in its seventh iteration, it boasts spectacular locations, with the opening concert held at Stephansdom. There will also be a...
After 18 years, the Canadian-American singer-songwriter is still going strong Known for his characteristic, warm voice, a complex, ever-changing style and frequent switching from guitar to piano, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has been performing his own songs to critical acclaim since his ­eponymous 1998 debut album. In recent years, his music has expanded from his indie roots, releasing his first opera...
Impulstanz Festival
Europe’s largest contemporary dance festival soars above all preconceptions Dancers dream of space, limitless space to move. Of rooms with no walls and of floors that flout gravity. The ten studios at the Arsenal nearly fulfill that dream. The gigantic rooms, walls entirely of glass facing walls full of mirrors, can feel like infinity. From September to June, Vienna’s performance season,...
open air cinema Kino unter Sternen
For the discerning cinephile, summer screenings under the heavens have a special romance Austrians love taking things outside. With hot but seldom sweltering days and plenty of leafy parks and watersides to laze them away in, Viennese summers defy you to go elsewhere on vacation. So after open-air wining and dining and outdoor concerts and theater, it was only a...
Ben Wheatley's retro-futurist dystopia is slick, atmospheric and nightmarish High-Rise, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard's scathing social critique of the same name, is a paradox: it uses the past's future to comment on the present. Wisely avoiding  updating the material despite ongoing relevance, it's a period piece set in 1975, the same year the source was published. Nothing looks as...
Screening at Sundance and Cannes, this indie family drama explores parenthood Winning best director at Cannes’ Un certain regard competition this year, writer and director Matt Ross’ touching and tragicomical film looks at how non-conformism affects child-rearing. Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife Leslie live off the grid deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest with their six...
Two expat dancers, Stephanie Cumming and Katarina Meves warm up for Impulstanz in the Painting 2.0 exhibit at Mumok Photos: Markus Thums Styling: Ali Rabbani Hair & Makeup: Barbara Production by: Margaret Childs   Stephanie Cumming moved to ­Vienna from Canada. “I wanted to be in Europe,” she explained. She reached Vienna in 2001, dancing at Tanzhotel and teaching English. She joined Chris Haring’s dance...
Donaukanal hotspots
Every year the Danube Canal promenade gets a little more sexy, with laid-back bars, delicious street-food-style eateries and the urban attitude to match. Here are our top 10 picks for 2017 Tel Aviv Beach 2., Obere Donaustrasse 65 (map) Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00 Anyone who has been down to the canal over the last few years can’t deny that Tel Aviv Beach has taken the...
The creators of It’s All About the Meat, Baby share their plans for the future of Vienna burgers and how to make the best one Resurrected from their 2013 pop-up, It’s All About the Meat, Baby is a concept The Culinary Love Band wants to stick with. “It’s all about quality,” explained Brian Patton, beer sommelier and co-owner of the...
Under a night sky, boating can rekindle romance – if you avoid the obstacles With schools out and the European Championships drawing to a close, it may be time for many couples to reboot their romantic life after weeks on the back burner. The summer months offer ample opportunities; but one that is a clear favorite among Viennese and visitors...
Even in the world of wine, appearances matter So there you are in the Vinothek, staring at the shelves. So many labels; so many vintages… Now what? Irish poet W.B. Yeats would have understood: “Wine comes in at the mouth,” he wrote, but “love comes in at the eye.” More than we often realize, it’s the label that seduces us. There’s...
Salzburg Festival
Salzburg is far more than Mozartkugeln, especially during festival season The majestic Salzburg cathedral is the scenic backdrop for the seminal play Jedermann. Photo ©2016 Tourismus Salzburg GmbH While other cities die a slow summer-death in July and August, in Salzburg it’s taken literally. At least on stage: This is the time when Death’s famous call in “Jedermann!” resounds over the...
Thomas Drozda
Austria has a new chancellor and with him comes a new minister. Thomas Drozda is in charge of Arts and Culture, and while he is new to the job, we asked him about the international outlook. Where does he see the role of artists and performers in Austrian culture? Dear Readers! Of course it’s my goal to bring artists and intellectuals into...