Vienna’s Artists Bring the Best of Culture to Your Couch

Cultural life on Austria is on standby – but not quite. Many institutions are trying to keep the spirit alive online. We’ve compiled the best of Vienna’s cultural offerings you can enjoy from your couch.

From the State Opera to the Globe Wien: Orchestras, artists, actors, comedians and writers are offering cultural fare on the web. Authors are reading via livestream. Opera houses and theaters – without an audience – are playing in front of a live cam. Musicians give concerts on the balcony and share them online. Galleries and museums are posting art on the internet. While entire film festivals take place online.

Here are some top picks, inspired by Austria’s public broadcaster ORF:

All About the Music

The Stay-at-Home sessions of radio FM4 started with local musicians Lou Asril, Voodoo Jürgens and Anger. You can listen in daily at 19:00.

A special streaming highlight is the production of Ludwig van Beethoven’s opera Fidelio by Christoph Waltz at the Theater an der Wien. Instead of the eagerly awaited premiere, the ORF broadcasted a recording of the dress rehearsals on March 20 at 22.30 (ORF2). This broadcast is now available online.

The Vienna State Opera is going all out: Every evening, a new work online, direct from the Staatsoper.

Following an initiative by Vienna’s City Councillor for Culture, Veronica Kaup-Hasler, the local TV station W24 offers culture creators an opportunity to perform in protected spaces, and then be broadcast online.

Cinema & Art

The Filmarchiv Austria offers a rounded multimedia story of the cultural history of Viennese cinemas.

The Belvedere has set up a live-stream tour of the Upper Belvedere every day starting at 15:00.  It can also be watched later over the museum’s website.  IS THIS RIGHT?

The ORF-TVThek and the video platform Flimmit offer a wide array of TV shows and movies. Cinemas such as the Admiralkino also provide new films with a video-on-demand service.

The curators of the film festivals of Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Berlin and Vienna have joined forces and put a brilliant collection of short films online, with the strong support of Vienna Shorts (VIS).

The Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) has bundled online offers under the hashtag #closedbutactive. In addition to talks and lectures by artists, the online collection with 22,000 works of art and objects can be found online as can the KHM app with digital tours. Many tours are also specially designed for children.

Libraries, Postcards & the Magic of Words

For those who long to travel – back in time and around the world – the magnificent picture postcard archive of the Austrian National Library offers hours of delight. If you get lost here, don’t expect to emerge quickly again.

Vienna’s libraries offer their members over 10,000 e-media publications for download – you can also register online. Moreover, there is also a digital kiosk where you can read hundreds of newspapers and magazines for free.

Dive in and be ready to emerge only many hours later: The Austrian Media Library of the Technical Museum Vienna offers audio and video recordings from cultural and contemporary history. A treasure waiting to be discovered.

From now on, online art openings will take place every Thursday evening. The new format was initiated by donhofer, known for his politically explosive art actions.

If you want to fill your lock-down time with literary voices, the Austrian Society for Literature (ÖGL) is ready to help, with a daily author’s post on the ÖGL’s Facebook page a reading for listening to at home.

The most comprehensive of all storehouses of history is the Austrian State Archives – now lovingly edited online. The collection of documents on the First World War, for example, is impressive and fascinating. Learn by rummaging – especially from the wealth of history so near at hand.

Drama, on the Stage & on Pages

You can also use this opportunity to improve your Austrian-dialect, with Vienna’s homegrown master of comedy Michael Niavarani: To fight what he has christened the “asshole virus”, Niavarani provides a palette of Austrian cabaret – not only his own – on the website of his Globe Wien theater, all for free.

The Museum für angewandte Kunst (MAK) sees itself as a laboratory for applied art at the intersection of design, architecture and contemporary art. The collection can be viewed digitally via Google Arts.

The Anno project of the Austrian National Library contains hundreds of thousands of historical newspapers – and offers the option of a full text search. One could easily spend two years here. Try searching for the address of your own house – or your family name…

If you miss hanging out with your Stammtisch, three writers have created an online literature festival for the German-speaking world: Viral. Another collection of literary readings on the internet is “15 Minuten für Leipzig.”

… and now for something very Viennese

Of the many, many bands, musicians and musicians who are currently giving online concerts for their fans, one should be highlighted: Der Nino aus Wien. It’s best to follow him on Facebook (as with many other creatives). First of all, you won’t miss anything, and secondly, there is so much wonderful music to listen to.

Benjamin Wolf
Benjamin studied Journalism, History and International Affairs. After stints with Cafébabel in Paris and Arte in Strasbourg, he is now working as managing editor and COO for Metropole in Vienna. Fields of expertise are politics, economics, culture, and history. Photo: Visual Hub

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