ALMANAC OF THE INTERNATIONAl CONFERENCE MUSICA NOVA VII - Brno 2012, Christian Heindl

The trend is that there is no trend” – Contemporary Music in Austria

I mentioned my colleague Dr. Haselböck by pure chance. Because by pure chance my first example of music is by him.
There is quite a “trendy” private opera group in Vienna, founded in 1998, called the sirene Operntheater. Their recent production comprised 12 new pieces based on stories from The Thousand and One Nights, all by one librettist, Kristine Tornkvist, and eleven composers. The performances took place on three evenings within three days. Let us take a glimpse at what it was like:
Example (Video): Lukas Haselböck (1972), Yunan und Duban (sirene Operntheater, 26. August 2011)
Quite an entertaining piece, somehow funny, interesting, typical of today’s musical output in Austria. But definitely this is neither part of a trend nor a pretence at or even the beginning of a trend. So once again my thesis: there are no trends in Austria today! (Don’t forget this sentence.)
As I mentioned, this sirene production, which was performed late in this year’s hot August, comprised twelve new short operas (in fact ten operas and two dance pieces). Compare two more excerpts: different composers, totally different aesthetics.
Example (Video): Willi Spuller (1979), Attars Tod (sirene Operntheater, 25. August 2011)
Example (Video): Matthias Kranebitter (1979), Der Apfel aus Basra (sirene Operntheater, 25. August 2011) (...)

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