Austria: No arts before March

Austria: No arts before March


norman lebrecht

January 17, 2021

The Austrian Government extended the lockdown this morning by an extra month.

Theatres and schools will remain closed.

But there’s a chance that hairdressers and museums can reopen in three weeks’ time.



  • Molly Bloom says:

    Dear Norman. It is true that concerts will not be happening. But the Austrian orchestras and opera houses will continue to record, stream and rehearse. And the Austrian government continues to fully support its arts institutions… unlike other governments!

    • Maria says:

      Yes, but you can’t physically go no more than you can in England. I simply don’t want to keep watching endless stuff on a laptop or tablet at home be it a concert or a funeral just to end up as a lone spectator. The theatres are closed again.

    • Leopold Diesenberger says:

      No, the Austrian government does nothing of the sort. It is incompetent to a degree that is staggering. It starting with the total failing of the first green State Secretary for Cultural Affairs Ulrike Lunacek and continues since then. Arts and culture are not supported at all. What is supported is the ski lift lobby and other organisations with close ties to the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP).

      The same is true for state universities like the MDW which in does not support their students enough. No rehearsal rooms are opened and teaching is practically non-existent. Online projects are only supported to a degree that allows them to say that they are doing something (for themselves). It is not even close to what could be done. They are putting more effort into gender feminism, diversity and inclusion and supporting the Green Party than into supporting their students.

  • Mock Mahler says:

    Yesterday the Vienna State Opera streamed a full, opulent production of “Rosenkavalier” from December 18, with no audience. An extraordinary experience.

    • Sanity says:

      “Extraordinary experience”??? To whom? Do you know what is an “extraordinary experience”? Experiencing opera live and in person! Performing for an actual audience! Seeing culture treated with respect!

  • EU person says:

    Very sad (((

  • Gordon says:

    And the domino effects begin…

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    “No arts before March”

    Let us parse that.
    Are composers forbidden from composing?
    Are painters forbidden from painting?
    Are sculptors forbidden from sculpting?
    Are writers forbidden from writing?
    Are poets forbidden from versifying?
    Are dancers, vocalists, instrumentalists forbidden from practicing?
    Are musicians forbidden from recording?

    No. Obviously not.
    So what are we talking about?
    For added emphasis: what THE HELL are we talking about?
    Public gatherings? Venues of mass infection?
    Ah, yes. Circenses. The animal appeal of blood sports.

    We are the first generation of the first civilisation that has been able to sustain a world-wide plague, and still communicate fully with one another. Potentially, every single individual on this planet with every other.
    We can share artistic productions from any point on the globe to any other.
    We can be at the antipodes and still perform jointly. And enjoy, conjointly.
    Let’s drop the circenses.
    let’s drop the pretenses.
    Let’s behave in a manner worthy of what we are striving to be: let’s be civilised.

    • Leopold Diesenberger says:

      Please visit the Brunnenmarkt in Vienna and tell me why the gatherings there are allowed. I don’t even want to talk about ice skating and skiing. At the same time concert venues are closed which would be really safe in comparison.

      • Brian says:

        Presumably, it’s because the market and ice skating are outdoors, where virus spread is much less of a problem. Musicians crowded together on an indoor stage, in front of (often elderly) audiences seems far riskier, sorry to say.

        • Sanity says:

          Have you ever entered a concert hall or opera theater ever since this pandemic started? Have you ever seen with your own eyes the ridiculously safe (and big!) environments these places are? I guess not, or you wouldn’t have written this.

    • Sanity says:

      I have never read such NONSENSE in my whole life. How do you think freelance artists (and the vast majority of artists are freelancers, don’t ever forget this!) are going to put food on their tables if this madness goes on and on??? How do you think they can keep practicing and remain being artists if there are absolutely no perspectives for them? And since when watching anything on the internet or on television is an experience remotely similar to the richness and beauty of a live performance? I can’t help feeling shocked, depressed and disgusted whenever I see the terrifying amount of readers of this blog who share this vision that the performing arts should be exterminated from the face of this planet until the last living soul is vaccinated. Shame on all of you! You, who are supposed to take culture seriously, have culture blood all over your hands.

  • Samantha Bendzulla says:

    Oh look, Sue Sonata Form, Patricia, etc has a new troll account. What a sad, pathetic man you are.