Stars on Street
«Stars on Street» is a cultural experiment with hidden cameras. What happens when internationally renowned artists take themselves out of their usual context of the concert hall or the opera house, and present themselves to the public without the usual trappings? The multimedia «Stars on Street» project supplies entertaining answers to this question and follows Aleksey Igudesman, Ildikó Raimondi, Martin Grubinger, Natalia Ushakova and Herbert Lippert as they attempt to make a go of being street artists.
175 Years Mozarteum
Founded in 1841 with the help of Mozart's widow Constance and his two sons as a student orchestra for the new Mozarteum, over the many years of its existence the Mozarteum Orchestra has grown into an internationally renowned cultural ambassador of the city of Salzburg, where Mozart was born. In honour of its 175th anniversary, this film, directed by Peter Beringer, portrays in close-up an orchestra known for its performances of symphonies and operas. In constant tension between everyday life and high art, the film searches for roots of the fascination generated by this orchestra and its significance for the music scene in Austria.
Sound of Vienna
Vienna is internationally renowed for its music, composers, virtuosos and conductors. It is the ultimate city of music. Tourists from accross the globe come here to enjoy Austria's capital, and countless music lovers from around the world send their talented kids here to study music. This film penetrates into the secrets of the art of musical instrument making. A musical survey of workshops, rehearsal rooms, concert halls, stages and museums, as well as high-tech Studios and labs. And neither classic- nor modern music go short.
Rudolf Buchbinder - Celebrity, Enthusiast
He has always been the youngest, the most gifted, the child genius. In December 2016 Rudolf Buchbinder will celebrate his 70th birthday and immodestly wishes to see the climax of his pianist's career at the end of his career.
The film portrays the world-famous pianist and his deep relationship with «his» classic works and shows him for example in his position as successful artistic director of the Grafenegger music festival, where he presents the biggest stars of the music world. Interviews prove how much his colleagues appreciate him. Amongst them conductors like Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst, Andriss Nelsons, Mariss Jansons and many others.
Knickarts to you - Aleksey Igudesman
It's a provocative way of presenting art and culture: Aleksey Igudesmann - composer, cosmopolitan and stand-up comedian, presents an unknown artist in every episode. But instead of a classic portrait,
Aleksey starts a not entirely serious dialogue and mixes fantasy and reality in an entertaining way. All kinds of art movements are portrayed in a whole new light.
William Tell - From Lucca to Erl
Gustav Kuhn is an opera obsessive, conductor and general manager of the Tyrolean Festival Erl, which
The documentary film, « Re-Sound Beethoven» whisks the viewer away with the orchestra of the Vienna Academy and its musical director, Martin Haselböck, on a musical journey to the original venues in Vienna of the premières and debut performances of Beethoven's symphonies and other important compositions. How were Beethoven's orchestral works performed in his lifetime, and what differences are there to today's practice? Based on numerous anecdotes and descriptions of the performances of Beethoven's works, a picture is painted of the musical life of Vienna at the beginning of the 19th century.
The Vienna Boys' Choir - A Polyphonic Youth
Angelic voices in sailor suits: That's the image of the Vienna Boys' Choir rooted in the minds of people
around the world. On sold-out concert tours they delight the masses. Their performance at the
Vienna New Year's Concert reaches an audience of billions. In Austria they are part of the cultural identity
anyway. Yet hardly anyone can imagine what the not quite normal everyday life of a Vienna Choir
Boy is like.The documentary «The Vienna Boys' Choir -- A Polyphonic Youth» shows a very special
point of view: From the perspective of a Choir Boy.
Conchita - Unstoppable
»My Music, my conviction, my life as an artist»- The
documentary accompanies Conchita Wurst - the Queen of Austria and winner of the
ESC 2014 through her time after her overwhelming victory and the
preparation for the upcoming ESC 2015. The documentary gives a very
personal insight into Conchita's way of fulfilling her dreams and her ambitious aim of
winning a Grammy. Be it the recording of her new album, international
performances of Conchita at concerts, talk shows, gay prides around the world, the famous
Golden Globes or the legendary debut at the «Crazy Horse» show in Paris.
«Conchita Wurst - The Unstoppable» shows how the Queen of Austria manages to reconcile her tight schedule and thereby always remains faithful to herself and her convictions.
Conchita - Queen of Austria
«Conchita - Queen of Austria» gives insight into the fascinating world of the polarizing artist Tom Neuwirth and accompanies you through the hard preparation time including energy-sapping studio sessions and personal contact with hard critics in the weeks before the Eurovision Song Contest. Behind the scenes, Conchita is not only a disciplined worker but also a sensitive person with tactfulness in respect of her family and dearest friends. Despite some negative reviews from the public, Conchita vigorously pursues her way to Copenhagen and takes a journey to her Styrian home town Bad Mitterndorf, Tom Neuwirth's place of childhood, where, for the first time, she meets her parents and the inhabitants as Conchita. She also visits the place where Tom already lived out his feminine side as a child. Back in Vienna, a short Danish-language course held by three young Danishmen completes the preparation for the Eurovision host country. In Copenhagen, Conchita's dream comes true: she impresses the whole world with her song «Rise Like A Phoenix» and wins the 59th Eurovision Song Contest to crown herself as the Queen of Austria!
Music After The War, Kosovo Between Trauma And New Beginnings
In the summer of 2010, Austrian cellist Meinhard Holler first brought together Albanian and Serbian music students, as well as young German and Austrian musicians, for a chamber music workshop at the Styrian Castle Preding. But the real thrill ride got going when the whole group went on a concert tour in the homelands of the participants, including several Albanians and Serbs, most of whom live in Kosovo.
The focus of the film is on the passionate musical work of these young people, especially the relationship between the Albanian and Serbian participants, whose young lives were shaped by war and political conflict. Their personal memories of the Kosovo Conflict and explosive archive footage show a chapter of European history that still remains utterly unresolved.
Places of Childhood
This series presents artists, their homelands and the places of their childhoods. What became of their
Shadows of the Past - The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 1938-1945
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is still often called «Nazi-Orchestra», as the past has been haunting them for many years. Will the brown shadow of Austria's most important cultural export ever fade away? This extraordinary documentary highlights the consistency with which the Vienna Philharmonics charged a commission of historians to clear their past. The archives were opened to Prof. Rathkolb, Dr. Trümpi and Mag. Mayrhofer, the most established critics amongst historians in Austria. Director Robert Neumüller accompanied the team down to the deepest basement of the State Opera where sensational new files could be found. The closer you look, the more the shining image of the orchestra during the Nazi era crumbles. Especially their Jewish members had to face a tragic reality: They were dismissed, seven of them died, thereof five in concentration camps. Others were able to escape and could emigrate, such as concertmaster Arnold Rosé, whose daughter was arrested in Holland. She conducted the orchestra for women until her death in Auschwitz. The work of the historians revealed a lot of completely unknown shades. Archive material that has never been shown before gives fascinating insights into the Nazi past of Austria's most famous orchestra. Finally, the film dissolves the captivating mystery of the ring of honor which was brought to Baldur Schirach in 1967.
Leo Fall - The Forgotten 'Enfant Terrible' of the Vienna Operetta
Leo Fall, once a dazzling composer of operettas such as «The Dollar Princess», «The Merry Farmer», «The Rose of Stambul» and «Madame Pompadour» talks about his crazy life. In a fi ctitious discussion he refl ects on his unbelievable wealth, as well as his extravagance and compulsive gambling. He remembers his triumphs in Vienna, Berlin, London, New York and Buenos Aires, and offers deep insights into his private life that included an illegitimate daughter, his legal incapacitation and a cocaine-addicted wife who was unable to cope with life. Alongside his competitors, Lehár and Kálmán, Leo Fall was above all the most important composer of operettas at the heart of the thrilling intellectual and cultural life of early 20th century Vienna.
Arik Brauer - A Childhood in Vienna
Arik Brauer has many identities that are just as colourful as his pictures: Viennese, Jewish, Israeli, cosmopolitan, socially committed. As a painter, musician, architect, sculptor and performer on stage, he is also creative. In Helene Maimann's film «Arik Brauer - A Childhood in Vienna» he recalls the time that became a lifelong inspiration and fixed reference point for him. His wife Naomi, daughters Timna and Ruth, niece Jasmin and two of his closest friends, the actor and director, Otto Schenk, and the Tibetologist, Ernst Steinkellner, tell his story. Arik Brauer, who was born in 1929 in the middle of the coldest winter in the last century, spent his early years under extreme conditions, and not just as far as the weather was concerned. He survived the years of National Socialism as a Jewish child in Vienna, became a passionate communist, mountaineer and singer after the war ended and, as a student of art, undertook long journeys by bike through Europe and Africa.
The Freemasons and Music
Freemasonry has been shrouded in a veil of secrecy, mystery and even suspicion since the outset. What lies behind it has undergone many centuries of development that has taken place under a pledge of secrecy. With their progressive ideas and principles, the Freemasons' lodges were always especially attractive for artists and musicians. Between Vienna, Rosenau, Cologne and Washington, this film attempts to get to the bottom of the secretive world of the freemasons through their famous composer members such as Haydn, Mozart, Lortzing and Liszt, Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin, and succeeds in uncovering some surprising insights.
«Let's Dance» is the story of people who have one thing in common: the love of dance. Breakdancing, ballet and Latin dance are their passions, and all have one great goal: to appear on stage. Director Florian Gebauer accompanies a Latin formation, a breaker combo and students of the Vienna State Opera ballet school on the way to the decision on success and failure. In the process, he captures the passion to dance, shows personal moments and provides some interesting insights into the extensive rehearsal and preparation work. And of course the camera is there when the curtain finally rises.
Across Borders - Music from the Balkans
Turbo folk and Bach, soft pop and smoochies, Bukovina dub and brass bands - the music of the Balkans is as varied as its central figures. Ecstasy and despair are close bedfellows here - often there is
nothing between them. This documentary illuminates the scene in Vienna and Belgrade. In the process, political, ethnic and religious identity conflicts are uncovered, which sometimes date back to the war in the former Yugoslavia.
Never-before-seen footage of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
In the closing stages of editing Arena: Imagine IMAGINE, a remarkablediscovery was made in the archives of ORF and BBC.A film can marked «miscellaneous», which had been languishingunopened for over thirty years, was found holding rushes of JohnLennon, Yoko Ono and Mick Jagger. The intimate footage, found inVienna this year, captures John and Yoko in and around theirTittenhurst Park house in 1969. As they discuss art and play chess witha white board and pieces against a white background the footageperfectly encapsulates the world of John, Yoko and the Imagine song. One of the world's other rock legends, Mick Jagger, is also caught oncamera socialising and having fun with John and Yoko during filmingfor the notorious, yet never screened, Rock and Roll Circus documentaryabout a Rolling Stones tour in the late '60s.
"A fascinating voyage into the universe of imagination, creativity and theinspiration for verses of universal peace. (...) An excellent documentary,intelligent and well constructed, that holds your interest from beginningto end. An introspection into the heart of the veritable hymn for a newmillennium." (Infoculture, Canada 2004)
"A music doc - but one that certainly busted out of doc conventions andstructure (...) After watching the film, you won't be able to listen to thesong without thinking about it more carefully." (Wendy Mitchell, Indiewire, USA 2004)
Available as 1x52 min. / 1x89 min.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt - A Portrait
Opera houses are keen to snap him up, while orchestras and star soloists bring out their best under his direction. Nikolaus Harnoncourt secured his place in the history of classical music long ago with his great love of music and exceptional performances. This documentary accompanies the 80-year-old world renowned conductor and aristocrat on his tireless search for musical perfection, presenting along the way some of his greatest moments in classical music. In a very personal interview Nikolaus Harnoncourt recounts his career and explains his musical credo, his relationship to his native land and his thoughts on ageing. Filmed rehearsals and interviews with his family and colleagues give an authentic insight into the life of the star conductor and convey an impression of his reasoned and yet emotional way of thinking and working.
Anna Netrebko - The East-West Diva
Salzburg, summer 2002, Great Festival Hall: A petite, dark-haired figure storms onto the stage and the auditorium holds its breath. What a voice! A great soprano, with a velvety timbre delightfully shaded by a slightly throaty tone. In the German-speaking world at least, this «Don Giovanni» was the breakthrough of opera singer «Donna Anna» Netrebko. After countless standing ovations, stadium concerts, video shoots and CD recordings, Anna Netrebko is the undisputed global diva of the opera world. She has fundamentally changed the genre with her image as a modern, down-to-earth, beautiful woman in tune with the zeitgeist. Who lies behind the silvery, bubbling laughter, the childishly playful stage rehearsals and the ever friendly yet general answers to interview questions?
For almost a year the Russian director Anna Mitrokhina followed Netrebko with her camera between Krasnodar, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Moscow and New York exclusively for ORF. The resulting portrait shows Anna Jurjewna at home in her parents' garden in Krasnodar, where she sings folk songs with the family, on tour with her little son, Tiago, or cooking in her new apartment in Vienna. Her father, Yuri Netrebko, tells the viewer, «Right from kindergarten Anna was always the one who led everyone else in singing.» Massimo Giordano, the tenor, marvels at Netrebko's presence. «She has a very special energy and lives completely in the moment. This enables her to enter into an intense exchange of energy with the public.» The Diva herself confesses, «I always wanted to go on the stage. I really didn't mind what I did when I got there. The main thing was that I would be allowed on the stage.»
This symphonic documentary takes the 200th anniversary of composer Joseph Haydn's death as a starting point for a cinematic examination of arguably the most important pioneer of Viennese classical music. What emerges primarily is the biography of a highly talented man, born into a provincial family of simple means, who was caught between difficult circumstances and great but often fortunate or accidental achievements.
Haydn wrote most of his compositions at the ancestral seat of the Esterhazy family in Eisenstadt, a dramatically dominant palace, which, to the modern day visitor, is full of unexpected perceptions and encounters with the composer. Moving through this place, a visitor continually finds artefacts belonging to Joseph Haydn and other traces of his life and work discovering a fascinating world, which through the influence of Haydn's music, continues to be felt today.
The Red Priest - Don Antonio Vivaldi
Who would have believed it? While taking an inventory of books at a library in the German city of Dresden, a musical masterpiece was accidentally discovered from one of history's most famous musical personalities. This work, which had been attributed to another composer for around 200 years, forms the starting point for a musical biography of the maestro Don Antonio Vivaldi. Alongside the world premiere of this piece, a setting of Psalm 110 «Dixit Dominus, RV 807», in Dresden's cathedral, the film also presents a colourful recreation of Vivaldi's life and work. From his birth in Venice, the film follows the life of the composer to Dresden and Leipzig and finally Vienna. Renowned Vivaldi experts, such as Professor Peter Ryom, reveal fascinating background information about the pieces. Well known interpreters of Vivaldi, such as the virtuoso Giuliano Carmignola and the Venice Baroque Orchestra round out this «rediscovery» of the maestro with marvellous performances, including a never before recorded violin concerto.
The Flying Dutchman - Fire and Ice
It seems the «Flying Dutchman», the mysterious seafarer from Richard Wagner's opera, has found someone worthy to carry on his legacy. Real-life Dutchman and modern-day adventurer Henk de Velde who has already circumnavigated the globe solo in his sailboat five times.
In a modern approach to this extraordinary historical material this opera documentary weaves together de Velde's adventures on the icy seas and Christine Mielitz's production of «The Flying Dutchman» at the Vienna State Opera.
The Mythology of the Ring - Richard Wagner
This intriguing search for devotees and connoisseurs of Richard Wagner's «The Ring of the Nibelung» takes us on a spectacular journey from the far flung coast of the Philippines to Manaus in the Amazonian rainforest and a tiny Berber village in the Sahara. As well as encounters with Prince Charles, Franz Welser-Möst and Achim Freyer, viewers also meet Star Wars fanatics and Lord of the Rings fans. But what parallels do these modern fables have with Wagner's epic? Is Wagner's grandiose theater work a global myth, that is relevant to us all or is it the music of the rich and powerful? Does power in the operas always equate with the person in possession of the ring? A funny and irreverent film about an awe-inspiring myth, which has touched countless people profoundly since its inception.
Inside the Infernal Comedy
The deceitful criminal history of Jack Unterweger, the prisoner convicted of killing a woman who subsequently became a literary sensation and was considered to be a model of rehabilitation, is the true source and subject of the musical theatre piece for Baroque orchestra, two sopranos and an actor.
This role is perfect for John Malkovich. Together with the two sopranos, Laura Aikin and Aleksandra Zamojska, he is rehearsing at Vienna's Ronacher Theatre for the European Premiere of the «infernal comedy»- the press hoopla around John Malkovich is somewhat reminiscent of the press throng that surrounded the serial killer, Jack Unterweger, during his second trial. Observations at the rehearsals for this unusual and genre-leaping theatre evening are interwoven with background information.
John Leake, who spent 3 years researching the Unterweger case in minute detail («entering Hades») is in conversation with Michael Sturminger, the author and director of the Infernal Comedy. Martin Haselböck, the conductor of the Vienna Academy Orchestra, illuminates the beginnings and musical conception of this utterly new form with classical 18th century arias and the fate of a 20th century serial killer to create a profound evening of musical theatre. The truth and nothing but the truth.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a trade mark, a name with worldwide recognition. Yet: the man behind the name and the music remains a mystery. "Wolfgang Who?" tells in two parts the story of the remarkable musician.
These rather unconventional documentaries follow the trails of famous composers. Vivaldi, Verdi, Strauss, Mozart, Puccini or Rossini - not only are their musical gems being featured, but also their respective culinary passions. Besides portraying their homelands with its people and picturesque sceneries, the documentaries focus on the culinary preferences of these famous men. From simple pleasures to lush and exquisite specialties - their tastes were at least as different as their compositions turned out to be!
The Sound of Hollywood
This documentary uses previously unpublished materials and contemporary witnesses to tell the story of the astonishing career of composer Max Steiner.Shaped by the musical world of Vienna, Max Steiner brought the music of Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler to Hollywood, where he established a new musical genre for the nascent «talkies»:symphonic film music.He produced musical scores for over 300 films, including classics such as «Gone with the Wind» and «Casablanca», was recognised with three Oscars and still has an influence on film music composers - such as the Austrian composer Gerrit Wunder - today.
Available in 1x45min and 1x50min
Nikolaus Harnoncourt - 25 Years Styriarte
The styriarte music festival was first held 25 years ago. At the time the idea was to bring Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the pioneering conductor, closer to his home town. This worldwide star has remained at the heart of the festival to the present day and plays a key role in shaping the programme with productions that have caused an international sensation. »styriarte» has become the star conductor's «home game». Over the course of the years he has recorded cycles by Schumann, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schubert here, and brought musical projects to fruition that would not have been possible elsewhere. The documentary shows the chronology and highlights of the past 25 years and, among other things, provides a glimpse of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe's enthralling and enjoyable rehearsals for Bedrich Smetana's symphonic cycle, «My Fatherland».
The Best Selling Monks - A Miracle with Side Effects
Over a million copies of the «Chant Music for Paradise» CD have been sold over the past two years. The monks from Heiligenkreuz Abbey have topped the charts across the world with their Gregorian chants and left stars such as Madonna and Amy Winehouse trailing in their wake. But how did this unusual joint venture between commerce and prayer come about? And what effect has their unexpected worldwide popularity had on the monks' lives? The documentary pursues these questions and looks behind the scenes of their success. It scrutinises the view of the world held by Heiligenkreuz Abbey, an institution that is considered to be ecclesiastically conservative, reveals PR and marketing mechanisms and discusses the question of the extent to which the success a CD of this kind can be sustained.
«The Best Selling Monks - A Miracle with Side Effects» is the extraordinary story of the clash between money and prayer.
Singing for Life - Voices from the Townships
In the whole of Africa there are only two opera houses with year-round programmes - one in Cairo, and the other in Cape Town. Opera in Africa has no tradition whatsoever. Furthermore, the role of classical music in everyday life is minimal. Nevertheless, people sing constantly and at every imaginable opportunity. South African television is full of programmes in which choirs perform for one another and with choir championships and choir documentaries. You could almost believe that every South African is involved in a choir in some way. This documentary shows three South African singers with impressive voices who originate from the townships around Cape Town. They grew up surrounded by poverty, criminality and hopelessness, but thanks to their voices have carved out a new future for themselves and thus found a means of escaping their situation. The film observes the singers not only at rehearsals, auditions and performances but also provides an intimate glimpse of their everyday lives.
Available in 1x44 min. and 1x52 min.
50 Years Concentus Musicus
The documentary begins by taking a look at how the ensemble, which specialises in performing music from past centuries on authentic historical instruments, got its start. We accompany the group to several performance venues, including London, Vienna and Graz. Celebrated singers, such as Thomas Hampson, Michael Schade and Herbert Lippert, recount anecdotes describing their personal connection and collaboration with the orchestra. Current excerpts from rehearsals featuring works by Mozart, Purcell and Haydn round out the programme.
King Without a Crown - Basso Star René Pape
His genre not only encompasses the great Wagner roles but also includes young roles with sex-appeal, from Don Giovanni to Escamillo. The documentary shows the balancing act between the star and the private person René Pape in portraying the singer in the thrilling world of opera with all its joys and tensions and in his everyday life. The opera-singer as jet-setter traveling from one country to another. On the tour accompanying René Pape from Berlin to Dresden, Madrid, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna we meet artists like Daniel Barenboim and Placido Domingo. In 2002 he was nominated "Singer of the Year" in the United States.
Seiji Ozawa - Maestro, Teacher, Student
Seiji Ozawa guides the artistic fate of one of the most renowned opera houses in the world as musical director of the Vienna State Opera for five years. To do this, Ozawa ended his more than 30 year involvement with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood festival. The film also shows Ozawa away from his work, for example in his house in Tokyo, in which a TV team was welcomed for the first time, or on the ski slopes.
Pianist and More - Markus Hinterhäuser
The Austrian Markus Hinterhäuser, extraordinary pianist and Concert Director at the Salzburger Festspiele, is impossible to categorize. He has established himself as an allround-artist and creative lateral thinker - you won't find any of the well-known, common composers at one of his increasingly rare concerts. One is much more likely to come across Morton Feldman, John Cage, Giacinto Scelsi, or Galina Ustvolskaya. A very intimate portrait, showing this exceptionally talented man at work as well as his private sides following him to La Spezia, his birthplace in Italy.
Philharmonic Dynasties - The Big Family of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Is the most famous symphony orchestra in the world in reality a family business? After taking a closer look, one might get that impression. The intertwining, genealogic history of the Vienna Philharmonic's members dates back to the orchestra's very beginnings. The chair on which clarinettist Peter Schmidl now sits was once occupied by his father, and his father before him. Similarly, solo-cellist Franz Bartolomey can also look back on an extensive family tradition. The Vienna Philharmonic is truly unique in the world in building on the family histories of its members to create such a rich artistic legacy.
As If My Life Were Normal - Mezzo-Soprano Angelika Kirchschlager
Mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager, a native of Salzburg, Austria, lives her life spanning the gap between professional success and dedication to her family. In the last ten years, she has become one of the most renowned Austrian singers, as well as the dedicated mother to her school-aged son, Felix, for whom making music is the most natural thing in the world.
The ORF television crew, which accompanied her for nearly a year, was allowed to take a very intimate look at Ms. Kirchschlager's professional and private life.
Puccini and Lucca
Puccini's life took place in Tuscany, between Abetone in the north and Siena in the south. His culinary passion was devoted to the simple but pure produce of the region. Excerpts of opera-classics like «La Boheme», «Tosca» and «Turandot»- shot at the opera-festival of Torre del Lago - complement this musicalculinary tour through Puccini's life and palatine.
Silk Road - Songs Along the Road and Time
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Curt Faudon brings to life a never before seen, intimate view of the Vienna Boys' Choir, the most famous boys' choir in the world. Being a combination between fly-on-the-wall documentary and cinematic elements this multi-layered feature film takes us on a journey around the world and even back into time, experiencing the boys' nomadic lifestyle through their very own eyes. Kicking off the story is the choir's Silk Road project, a children's opera which tells the tale of a 2000 year old ghost and a talking camel, based on original songs from Turkey, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia and China. While rehearsing the songs, meeting with Asian artists and learning the opera dialogue they attend school, go on their «normal» tours during the academic year and sing under famous conductors such as Franz Welser-Möst and Riccardo Muti. The fictional narrative focuses on a boy who thinks he is a middling chorister muddling along, trying to fly under the radar. He only discovers in the course of the rehearsals that he is much better than he thinks to be. The boy's friends, coming from the US, Slovakia and even from Japan, give their best to help him overcome his shyness before the opening night of the opera.
Interlaced with a tongue-in-cheek filmed collage we go back in time and witness the imperial choir singing at the Augsburg Reichstag in 1518 with Albrecht Dürer and Martin Luther present as well as acts in front of Napoleon III of France and Maria Theresa of Austria and other historical performances in the choir's 500-year history, brought to life by rich costumes and state-of-the-art special effects. Experience a touching coming-of-age-story, breathtaking musical performances and awe-inspiring international locations along the Silk Road with tidbits of mystery and a very special guest appearance: a talking camel.
Available in 1x51 min and 1x86 min.
Karajan - Herbert von Karajan Profile
In 1982 Karajan founded Telemondial, and with the best studio technicians he once again started to produce sound recordings. Next to important studio productions of popular concert repertoires Karajan decided to integrate some of his favourite operas like "Don Giovanni", "Don Carlos", "The Night of the Rose" or "Falstaff".
This film documentary by Gernot Friedl follows the life and work of the great conductor, revealing both his charisma - the Karajan phenomenon - and also the more controversial sides of his personality and musical approach. Extracts from opera and concert works by Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Bach, Puccini, Johann Strauss (the younger), Mahler, Verdi, Richard Strauss and Schonberg testify to the wide-ranging repertoire which Herbert von Karajan developed during his life as a conductor.
Available in 1x45 min / 1x61 min / 1x89 min.
Dance on the Spot
Austria boasts a very active young dance scene, which has assumed a remarkably independent role within the international world of dance. The Vienna Dance Biennial of 1982 to 1994 contributed a great deal to the importance that dance has acquired in Austria over the years; the Internationale Tanzwochen Wien and the ImPuls Tanz festival, now held for fifteen years, have added further impact to the scene. All these events have fostered the country's role in dance and have attracted new audiences.
Karajan - Phenomenon Karajan
In this portrait Uli Märkle, the Telemondial manager and long time Karajan companion, illustrates the cooperation with the Maestro, whose total dedication to music became next to proverbial. Uli Märkle also describes a humorous and in many questions interested contemporary with a liking for westerns and «Bratwürstel». The new found film cuts show Karajan with Nicolai Ghiaurov as Don Giovanni in Salzburg, Jess Thomas as Siegfried and Grace Bumbry as Carmen. But also rehearsals out of Telemondial concert productions, that were first presented at the inauguration of the Karajan Centrum, are integrated in this ORF production.
This Karajan portrait also includes interview clips that Heinz Fischer Karwin recorded with the famous conductor.
Johann Strauss the Elder - Life is a Dance
Johann Strauss the Elder, one of the original fathers of the Vienna Waltz, celebrated his 200th anniversary in March 2004. He was the genius of music to revolutionize 19th century light music in collaboration with Josef Lanner, leaving thus an imprint on the spirit of the Biedermeier period. Nobody would have guessed at that time that Strauss the Elder was later to stand in the shadow of his son: After all, also Strauss the Elder and his own orchestra swept a massive audience away in standing ovations.
Silent Night, Holy Night
The Vienna Boys Choir sing a selection of the most beautiful Christmas carols, interspersed with pieces played by the Tobi Reiser ensemble, a well known Austrian music group.
Parsifal - Indiana Jones & Richard Wagner
Several years back, kown director Christine Mielitz staged a most controversial production of Richard Wagner's «Parsifal» at the Vienna State Opera. Werner Boote attempts to document the origins of the opera and vividly tells us some real- life backstage stories surrounding the history of «Parsifal«.
In a gripping search to uncover the legendary Grail in Spain, the documentary team may have found the true Holy Grail. An adventure story that seems to be taken from Indiana Jones translates the fascination of the «Parsifal» opera into film.
Our Vienna State Opera - Remembering the Rebirth of an Opera House
The reopening of the Vienna State Opera with Beethoven's «Fidelio» in November 1955 was the beginning of a new era in Austria. Hit in an American bomb attack at the very end of World War II it later on became a symbol for the cultural rebirth and strength of a country. This documentary presents a crucial point in history by gathering almost all the main witnesses of this era and exquisite archive-footage as well as using reinactments and CGI-animations.
The Vienna Boys Choir
During the day they ride skateboards, listen to techno, love soccer and don’t like going to school. In the evening they sing on the stages of international concert halls: the Vienna Boys’ Choir. In 1998 they celebrated their 500 year jubilee – with singing, of course. There is hardly any other institution that is associated with Austria in such an unreservedly positive way as this boys’ choir that has such a rich tradition. The film captures the atmosphere in which the boys live; their leisure time and sports at the Vienna Augarten Palace, their professional work beginning with early musical training and progressing to concert appearances, special voice lessons for solo performances at the Vienna State Opera, geography classes in preparation for a world tour. This film accompanies one of the four choirs from their summer holiday home at Lake Wörther in Carinthia to Carnegie Hall in New York.
Silent Night, Holy Night: A Message of Peace
When assistant priest Joseph Mohr wrote the text to «Silent Night» in 1816 and teacher Franz Xaver Gruber set it to music two years later, no-one imagined that it would become the most well known Christmas carol in the world, sung today in over 350 languages and dialects around the globe. In a time of acute poverty and political disturbance following the Napoleonic wars, Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber wanted to reassure people in their area, many of whom were sailors, by producing a simple Christmas carol with guitar accompaniment for the local sailor's church. This documentary follows the development of the song, by searching out the traces and places of its composition and setting it in the wider historical context. Original documents, re-enactments and interviews with experts shed light on the true origins of «Silent Night», beyond the many legends which surround it.
Available in 1x23 min. / 1x44 min.
Hear the World
Placido Domingo and Clemens Hellsberg are ambassadors for Hear the World, a Swiss foundation dedicated to increasing worldwide awareness of the importance of hearing. The film documents cultural events involving the subject of hearing and deafness, from classical music and dance to drumming for the hearing impaired. It portrays the daily life of individuals who have made outstanding creative achievements despite being deaf or hearing-impaired.
Childhood in Limelight
They are world renowned and a symbol of Austria: away from the spotlights, however, the life of the Vienna Boys' Choir is much less glamorous. Everyday life in the choir's boarding school is characterised by strict discipline - the school's timetable includes hours of practice and vocal exercises - and the young boys struggle constantly with bouts of home-sickness, often not seeing their parents for months at a time. This music documentary follows the boys around for a year, looking behind the scenes of their touring and boarding-school life and capturing their very personal stories in intimate pictures.
Golden Sounds - The Vienna Musikverein
Felix Breisachs film offers a guided tour around the magnificent building erected by Theophil Hansen and inaugurated on January 6, 1870. By way of example, the roof of the Musikverein houses the precious archive of the Society of Friends of Music, one of the world's five largest and most important music collections. The importance of the building is highlighted in numerous interviews - with the musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic, for example, who consider the Musikverein their natural home.