Enticing capital clash

Vienna’s top-flight clubs have celebrated impressive wins ahead of the fiercely anticipated derby.

SK Rapid face their archrivals FK Austria on Sunday (5pm, Allianz Stadion) as the Bundesliga winter break approaches. The most recent encounter of Vienna’s biggest teams took place at FK Austria’s Generali Arena in September (1-3).rekordmeister

The Green-Whites ripped vice champions LASK Linz into pieces last Sunday (0-4). Returning from a lengthy absence due to injury, Srdjan Grahovac has added much-needed stability to Rapid’s defending midfield. Taxiarchis Fountas will certainly pose an intimidating threat to FK Austria’s back-four. Coming from the subs’ bench to score the final goal of the match last Sunday, Aliou Badji might have regained some self-confidence.

FK Austria’s stunning 5-0 triumph over Hartberg might have broken the psychological barrier in the heads of some insecure players. The opportunity of revenge should now sharpen their focus.

>> http://www.skrapid.at

Kingdoomed

The Burgtheater is leaving its rivals coughing on fumes with a brilliant “Don Karlos”.1.jpg

The theatre’s new director Martin Kusej had already staged the Friedrich Schiller play from 1787 at Munich’s Residenztheater. Creating a vile and hostile atmosphere, his four-and-a-half-hour Viennese version is pulling no punches. The Viennese “Don Karlos” has earned favourable reviews. It also received wide approval from audiences.

Schiller’s masterpiece portrays a bitter conflict between father and son and heinous political power games in in 16th century Spain. Thomas Loibl and Nils Strunk take lead roles in this compelling production.

“Don Karlos” will be performed tonight and on the 5th and 9th of December. For additional information on the prestigious theatre’s current repertoire, visit http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Matthias Horn

Pure perfection

Breathtaking landscapes, sumptuous still lifes and intimate portraits – the oeuvre of Pierre Bonnard is nothing short of fascinating. Now there is a chance to discover the ingenious painter’s achievements in Austria.bonnard.jpg

Vienna’s Bank Austria Kunstforum has dedicated a special exhibit to the artist who passed away in 1947. Bonnard’s brilliant Mediterranean town views and landscapes will let you yearn for a break in in the south. But “Die Farbe der Erinnerung” (The Colour of Memory) is teeming with surprises – early photographic experiments, preparatory sketches and a self-portrait conveying pure fragility are on display too.

Bonnard’s mind was a bottomless well of creativity, as this exhibition confirms. Building on loans from all over Europe and overseas, “Die Farbe der Erinnerung” will leave a long-lasting impression on each visitor.

German publishing house Hirmer’s excellent catalogue provides additional insights into the work and life of this outstanding artist.

>> http://www.bankaustria-kunstforum.at

Pierre Bonnard. Die Farbe der Erinnerung
By Matthew Gale
Published by Hirmer (www.hirmerverlag.de)

Crisis-ridden theatre fights on

The Volkstheater board is in the firing line as the institution’s budget difficulties are intensifying. Its repertoire nevertheless holds some true gems.

It seems as if the state-funded theatre is going from bad to worse as far as its finances are concerned. Between 2015 and 2018, its plays had an attendance rate of just 56 per cent, including a considerable high number of free tickets. Nevertheless substantial sums will be invested in its infrastructure. Performances will take place at the adjacent Museumsquartier as of January to renovate the prestigious institution.1.jpg

Volkstheater directors have never had a particularly experimental approach. But through the past decades, its bill has included not just solid performances of classic plays but also some spellbinding if not game-changing projects.

“Rojava”, a play on the dream of a functioning democracy in a war-ridden region, has stunned audiences earlier this year. Calle Fuhr’s adaption of “Die Leiden des jungen Werther” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has not disappointed either.

A New Year’s Eve performance of Max Frisch’s “The Arsonists” (Biedermann und die Brandstifter) is certain to be one of the cultural highlights of the final few weeks of the year.

Visit http://www.volkstheater.at for a detailed bill and information on tickets.

Photo: © Volkstheater / Instagram

Shall We Dance?

Andrea Eckert and Markus Meyer complement each other brilliantly in an Akademietheater play featuring fantastic music.1

“Sechs Tanzstunden in sechs Wochen” by American playwright Richard Alfieri portrays Lily, an ageing widow. Feeling lonesome, she decides to book dance lessons. Her teacher Michael helps her to crush the persistent bouts of self-doubt. As her health deteriorates, Michael stays by her side.

“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is a life-affirming play about friendship and compassion. Director Martina Gredler and set designer Sophie Lux have created a wonderful German adaption. Eckert and Meyer never disappoint while the band spread boundless joy. Spellbound audiences are guaranteed in Vienna on 14th, 27th and 31st of December.

>> http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Reinhard Werner