Waltzing to Vienna

31 January 2022

Welsh National Opera is delighted to return to the concert stage, with a spectacular concert headlined by our magnificent WNO Orchestra alongside former WNO Associate Artist Harriet Eyley and under the leadership of Concertmaster David Adams. While our concert did not go ahead as planned to be performed in early January, we are thrilled to be able to re-schedule parts of this tour.

The Return to Vienna concert will contain familiar masterpieces by composers such as Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss, Lehár and Korngold, including the iconic The Blue Danube which is one of the most acclaimed waltzes of all. This piece is known widely for its Viennese sentiment associated with Strauss’ melody and has become an unofficial Austrian anthem to Vienna and helped to popularise the notable Viennese Waltz dance in the second half of the 19th century. Strauss and his son elevated the Viennese Waltz with its precise beat in 3/4 time into a favourite of ballrooms across Europe. This style of dance continues to delight and the hugely popular entertainment programme, Strictly Come Dancing, has promoted this elegant dance style in a more contemporary setting.

This concert also features Korngold’s Polka Mazurka Waltz, another masterpiece that will have you toe-tapping the entirety of the concert. The Polka is a dance genre originating from the Czech Republic and remains a popular folk-dance form in Europe today. This simply charming piece will certainly lift those post-Christmas blues and will for sure have you dance your way out of the venue.

Another of Strauss’ masterpieces on the repertoire for this concert is his Radetzky March which is a piece played at the end of the New Year’s Day concert in Vienna, with the audience encouraged to applaud to welcome the arrival of another year. Traditionally, a new year’s concert is held in Vienna featuring music from principal composers such as Strauss, and this has been an annual occurrence since 1838 and has become exceedingly popular ever since. Not only thriving in it’s home country, but the New Year concert is also broadcast to over 90 countries around the world, such is the popularity of this phenomenal Viennese concert. It has long been a tradition to perform a New Year’s Day concert in the Austrian capital for several decades, promoting the wonderful music of Strauss, the ‘waltz king’ and his contemporaries with the same nostalgic repertoire featured each year to celebrate their vast musical influence.  

Our Return to Vienna concert returns on February 5, at Turner Sims, Southampton with a delightful and joyful repertoire that appeals to all classical music lovers. This feast of classical music will have you waltzing your way through the evening, so join us for an evening of toe-tapping to Strauss, Lehár and Korngold.