Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for November
M T W T F S S
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

Vienna Opera Ball in New York

By Andrea Simmons

There are not many posh society events where one finds oneself interrupted in the middle of an interview by a horse, but that's exactly what I found at the 58th Annnual Viennese Opera Ball to Benefit Carnegie Hall, held in New York this past Friday at the legendary Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

I had made my way through many elegant rooms to the breathtaking Silver Corridor, a hallway surrounded by mirrors, providing perfect viewing for a scene that looked like nothing short of a fairy tale.

As ladies in long ball gowns floated down the ornate passageways along with gentlemen in tails, white gloves and decorations, it was easy to believe that somehow one had wandered back in time to imperial Vienna...with exception to the occasional cell phone jingle.

Hans Peter Manz, Austrian Ambassador to the US looks forward to the Ball each year, for "the spirit of the people participating and coming together and the unique mixture of festivities.  It’s evocative of the past, and I’m pleased to see tradition going on with so many young people in attendance!"

The Counsul General of Austria, Ernst-Peter Brezovszky, heartily agreed, saying that he was moved by the "young spirit" prevalent throughout the celebration.  He added with a smile, that the festivities were also quite "Hilarious!"  A bit puzzled by this particular choice of wording, I was soon to learn that the joke was on me:  Spotting Executive Committee Chairman, Dieter Beintrexler, I was eager to speak to him regarding his thoughts on the evening.  And, in a hilarious fashion, the next thing I knew, the clip-clopping of hooves could be heard and we were separated by a horse and his escorts, alerting the guests that the program was about to begin!  I must say, this was a journalistic first!

Upon arrival in the Grand Ballroom, guests were dazzled by exquisite bouquets of large white roses with a smattering of golden leaves, the vases dripping with several glittering strands of crystal-like droplets.

All were treated to a seemingly endless procession of Austrian cuisine throughout the program, which was a lively mix of a Debutante Presentation, including the reigning Miss Teen USA, Logan West; a special performance by principal dancers from the Vienna State Ballet; Marionettes; the Viennese Waltz, and the annual guest favorite, the Midnight Quadrille.

One of the Ball’s Co-Hosts, American operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes, along with his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, delighted in seeing one of their students, Metropolitan Opera soprano, Amy Shoremount-Obra lend her glorious voice to the evening’s lively performance of the opera, Die Feuersbrunst.

Together Milnes and Zouves founded VOICExperience, a non-profit organization that provides singers with performance and study opportunities as they pursue their careers.

Ms. Milnes had a contagious enthusiasm, her eyes lighting up as she spoke of the program.  The couple agreed that, since founding their organization, witnessing their students, such as Ms. Shoremount-Obra, go on to incredible opportunities such as this, is the most rewarding aspect of their efforts.

It was a first time visit to the New York Viennese Opera Ball for Austrians Nina Krasser and Petra Schinnerl.  Both young ladies delighted in the "variety" that the New York Ball had to offer, as opposed to the more traditional Balls based in Vienna.  Ms. Schinnerl added, "I find the New York Ball much more entertaining with the opera in the middle and just so many different things going on!"

In contrast, many of the Americans present spoke of being captivated by the evening’s spirit of tradition and elegance of an age gone by, and it wasn’t just the guests that were in awe of the festivities.  Diane Edward, a Waldorf-Astoria hospitality staff member, was unable to contain her excitement: "Everyone looks so beautiful!  It's just like being in a movie...it really is!" She gushed.  "I don't even feel like I'm working!"
The evening brought back many fond memories for many of its participants.  Peter Duchin conducted the Ball’s 22-piece Orchestra and, after attempting to hoist me onstage, ball gown and all (he did not succeed!), he shared a favorite memory during his travels to Vienna, when he and his ex-wife managed to scale a mountain near Salzburg all the way to the top, only to discover the most glorious field of wildflowers that he described as "most breathtaking!"

Evening Co-Host,Tony Dovolani, of ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars reminisced about his childhood visits to Austria.  "It was just so beautiful.  As a child, going there - everything looked like a fairytale to me!  The people were so kind and I will never forget their smiles."

And for some guests, this was their first taste of Austrian culture.  Miss Teen USA and Debutante, Logan West shared that she had yet to visit Austria, but after this experience she declared, "I’m going to text my mom and ask for a vacation!"  She will have the proper waltzing skills to boot, as she and her fellow debutantes had been trained by Choreographer and Artistic Director of the Vienna City Ballet, Heinz Heidenreich in "only four days" of long and intensive instruction.

Time seemed to stand still as guests glided about the dance floor and, as the Grand Ballroom’s participants began to fade, the festivities were anything but over.  Patrons flocked to the Tanz Bar, a collection of various after parties  throughout the building – from a DJ and Jazz Band accompanied by a Buffet Supper in the Astor Salon and Jade Room, to the Basildon Room, which was transformed into a Vienna Coffee House.

As the sun began to rise, it almost seemed shocking to arrive outside and be greeted by the rush of taxis on Park Avenue, with not one carriage in sight.  Alas, all good things must come to an end.

And perhaps the next time around, your most humble journalist will bring a carrot and a lump of sugar to ensure that her interviews carry on with minimal interruptions!

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Tag cloud:
Obra  rsquo  Ballroom  York  Vienna  spirit  opera  Ball  Austrian  journalistic  Opera  nbsp  Viennese  Milnes  Debutante  Grand  festivities  Astoria  tradition  performance

Latest News

 

Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum
A unique exhibition in the Austrian capital Vienna has proved a massive hit after bringing together for the first time some of the most famous frozen woolly mammoth remains.

Controversy Over Advert For Fucking Hell Beer
An Austrian political party has defended a decision to promote a local beer named after the village of Fucking.

Luigi Restaurant Cooks Up Delicious Delights For Winter Season
Brothers Luigi and Leo Doci who own the renowned Luigi restaurant chain will be cooking up a storm in Semmering this winter.

Church Porn Star In Court
A Polish-born woman who made a video of herself masturbating in church is facing six months in jail after a viewer called police when he recognised the woman.

Hugh Grant Cuddles Lamb On Animal Farm With Mrs Glock
Hugh Grant led a star-studded turnout at Austria's animal farm project which unveiled its Christmas market this week.

Cheating Wife Buries Hubby Alive For New Lover
A woman who married her sisterís fiance and then attacked him with a knife before burying him alive so she could be with her new lover is facing life in jail.

Spate of Crimes throughout Vienna and Lower Austria Solved
Four men have been arrested after committing 113 break-ins, 21 thefts and causing at least 260,000 Euros worth of damage.

Dad Punished Child, 2, With Boiling Hot Shower
A two-year-old girl is in an artificial coma and fighting for her life after her father threw her into a scalding hot shower leaving her with severe burns at the family home in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.

Hotel Gets A Penthouse Without The Building Stress
A hotel in the southern Austrian city of Graz has gone upmarket with a five-star penthouse suite by simply having it lifted by a crane onto the top floor.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers