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Just in: Why Franzi won’t go to the ball….

Vienna awoke this morning to the smell of coffee and the whiff of an offence to one of its most cherished rituals.

Franz Welser-Möst, music director of the opera, has declined, with all appropriate courtesies and regrets, to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Thursday and Friday night’s see-and-be-seen grand annual Opera Ball.


He’s not feeling well, apparently.

His last-minute replacements will be Peter Schneider and Paul Weigold.

Vienna is, as ever, agog with rumour.

In sympathy with the absent maestro, Slipped Disc has likewise declined its invitation to the dance. Too busy.

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  1. Ivor Solomons says:

    I hope when Vienna smells its coffee, it manages to smell anything. Since a lovely coffee in Warsaw, whenever I’ve rarely had a coffee, I can’t smell anything. It’s just that ‘having coffee’ sounds such a great idea.

  2. Much more fun to wash one’s hair than be jam-packed together amongst all the wanna-bes, have-beens and never-weres of Austrian “society”.

  3. stanley cohen says:

    One still wonders why he was so ill-thought of in the UK. I sang in two choral concerts for him and he was no better nor worse than most. Certainly not as inspiring as some and also a great deal better than others less reviled.

  4. Robert Kenchington says:

    It really doesn’t matter whether Welser-Most conducts the event or not, the orchestra can play this music in their sleep – a fact verified by the recent New Year’s Day Concert which – to be frank- was a soporific combination of well-upholstered autopilot and sugar-coated complacency.

    To bring the Vienna Philharmonic out of this well-worn musical safetly net, you need a conductor with personality, like Will Boskovsky, a musician who had more brilliance and personality in his little bowing finger than WM has in his whole body. At least Andre Rieu can manage a smile…

  5. This ball has become so embarrassing but brings money as it is literally the only day of the year the Opera makes money. From head to toe it has become vulgar including the lady who runs it, the predecessor was not different. No one cares who is conducting and ‘Frankly Worse than Most’ wont be missed but one should wish a good recover. Only Karajan and especially Carlos Kleiber made this particular Austrian music exciting, just watch those two New Year’s concerts with the greatest of all Maestri. Here at this Ball no one cares for music, it’s business and as mentioned vulgarity.

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