Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vienna State Opera Chorus to collaborate with National Taiwan Symphony in New Year project

By Nancy T. Lu

The Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor or the Vienna State Opera Chorus will return to Taiwan for three 2010 New Year concerts, featuring highlights from Johann Strauss II’s “Die Fledermaus.” The chorus performed at the opening of the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung earlier this year.

Soprano Keti Tavardi, mezzo-soprano Adrineh Simonian, baritone Zoltan Nagy and tenor Peter Svensson will sing the lead roles from the operetta. Tiziano Duca will be the conductor.

The National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra will collaborate with the Vienna State Opera Chorus to bring to Taiwan for the first time the beautiful Vienna Neujahrkonzert tradition with a history of 162 years. The orchestra based in central Taiwan was founded in 1945.

Polka and waltz music will help transport local listeners to Vienna with its old world charm. “Blue Danube” and “Radetzky March” as program encores promise to work the listeners up and get them in a waltzing and polka dancing mood during the first days of the year 2010.

The first of three New Year concerts will take place on January 2 at the Chung Hsing Hall in Taichung. The program will then be presented on January 3 at the Chih Te Hall in Kaohsiung and on January 5 at the National Concert Hall in Taipei.

The professional chorus from Vienna boasts 92 of the finest singers from around the world. Ho Meng-chieh is the only Taiwanese singer in the chorus from the world music capital. Twenty-four singers will come for the New Year project.

Whether appearing as a full-size chorus or in smaller groups, the Vienna State Opera Chorus is engaged almost 255 days in a year. The professional chorus must be ready to support and back any of the 55 opera productions in the repertoire of the Vienna State Opera. This means singing in the different original languages of the operas. Johann Strauss wrote in German, Georges Bizet in French, Igor Stravinsky in Russian, Antonin Dvorak in Czech and so forth. They must also be prepared to dance as called for by the operas.

The stages in Taichung, Kaohsiung and Taipei will be decorated with fresh flowers at every performance. Members of the audience will be encouraged to bring home one flower each at the end of every concert.

Volkswagon will be the sole sponsor of the Kaohsiung and Taipei performances being promoted by the Management of New Arts.

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