The successful Red Ribbon Celebration Concert continued this year under the title LIFE + Celebration Concert and provided musical and literary enjoyment.

Under this year’s LIFEBALL slogan “Recognize the Danger”, numerous famous opera singers and actors united against AIDS.

Sumi Jo, South-Korean soprano, Grammy award winner, and Oscar® nominee; René Pape, who has the most beautiful bass voice in the world; Linda Watson, one of the most important Wagner singer of our time, Bo Skovhus, baritone and the audience’s favorite; KS Angela Denoke; sopranos Maria José Siri, Daniela Fally and Pumeza Matshikiza; Julia Novikova, Placido Domingo Operalia winner; Andrea Carè, the last pupil of Pavarotti and young tenor as well as Ekaterina Siurina, Charles Castronovo and Wiener Comedian Harmonists raised their voices against AIDS according to this year’s Life Ball motto “Recognize the Danger”.

Yury Revich, ECHO Classic Newcomer 2016, created magical sounds on his Stradivari, and Alma Deutscher, musical prodigy aged eleven, was the youngest artist on the stage. Great actors like Sunnyi Melles, Maria HappelChris Lohner, Yvonneka Kálmán and Oscar® winner Karl Markovics provided the greatest literary enjoyment. The Tonkünstler-Orchester was conducted by Alfred Eschwé, and the concert was once again directed by Alexander Wiegold.

As one of the world’s biggest AIDS charity events, the Life Ball has not only been celebrating life since 1993, but also diversity, tolerance, and respect. The “LIFE+ CELEBRATION CONCERT” is a more intimate event than the Life Ball , which is always staged very “loudly” on purpose in order to get its message across and raise funds for AIDS projects. The concert, however, is aimed at a slightly different target group, lovers of classical art and music. Both events have the same goal: fighting HIV and AIDS. The event’s unique program is characterized by pieces of classical music, interpreted by famous singers, which alternate with readings done by renowned actors and actresses. The readings are about topics like humanity, equality, or human dignity, but they also touch on current issues and the motto of the Life Ball, which will take place just 4 days later.

With works by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Emmerich Kálmán, Kurt Weill, and others, the dramatic composition of the LIFE+ CELEBRATION CONCERT took the audience back to the contradictory situation of the 1920s and 1930s. “It is a great pleasure to be on the stage of the time-honored Vienna Burgtheater with international opera stars during the LIFE+ CELEBRATION CONCERT. This event reflects the cultural diversity and openness that we get to experience on a daily basis when we work. The motto ‘Recognize the Danger’ focuses on the zeitgeist of the 1920s and 1930s; back then, musical diversity and plurality were facing global crises and threats, too. Helping to create the artistic environment of the Life Ball as a sign of life for a tolerant, colourful, and open-minded Austria for the second time already is a great chance for us to demonstrate solidarity, respect, and responsibility for the community in a playful way, so to speak. Because there is no other option than community. Neither when it comes to music, nor when it comes to fighting AIDS”, says Frank Druschel, managing director of the Tonkünstler-Orchester.

The net proceeds of the event will go to Austrian and international HIV/AIDS help projects.

Director: Alexander Wiegold

Stage: Vanessa Veder –Messutat

Projections Desing & Video Production: Dirk Pfeifer

Participating artists:
Sumi Jo / René Pape / Angela Denoke / Linda Watson / Bo Skovhus / Daniela Fally / Andrea Carè /
Julia Novikova / Alma Deutscher / Pumeza Matshikiza / Charles Castronovo / Ekaterina Siurina / Yury
Revich / Sunnyi Melles / Wiener Comedian Harmonists / Maria Happel/ Karl Markovics/ Yvonneka Kálmán

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