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Immortal waltz-beatitude
„Wiener Schmankerln“: belcanto and slapstick
Lörrach. „Wien, Wien, nur du allein, sollst stets die Stadt meiner Träume sein“ – with this programmatic homage to the city  by the beautiful river Danube the menu of „Wiener Schmankerln“ („Vienna Delicacy“)started at the Burghof Lörrach on Sunday.

Thomas Sigwald, tenor, Frauke Schäfer, soprano, and Christian Koch, piano, had come to Burghof Lörrach to spread Viennese flair for two hours. Sigwald inducted the audience with a fulgent potpourri of tales to the Viennese way of living and thinking. He curbed his Viennese dialect in consideration of his alemanian audience and spoke “Viennese for foreigners”.
“Combatants” of Thomas Sigwald, tenor at the Viennese Public Opera, were Frauke Schäfer operetta-diva at several Swiss and Austrian stages as well as the wonderfully free striking up pianist Christian Koch; who was not only accompanying the singing perfectly but also sang out loud himself. To the enjoyment of the audience, there was not only belcanto, but also a lot of slapstick action. In this way the Viennese Songs of the first part of the program were emphasized in a brilliant way. „Im Prater blüh’n wieder die Bäume“, „Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt“ oder das „Schwipslied“ – Songs which are known all over the world.

In the second part of the concert the immortal operetta-melodies delighted the audience. „Im Weißen Rössl“, „Die Fledermaus“, „Gräfin Mariza“ or „Das Land des Lächelns“ – and all to often several spectators hummed along. A delicacy of the special way was the “Pianistic Intermezzo”. Christian Koch changed the melody every fourth bar – from “Fledermaus” to “Bonanza” up to the “Radetzkymarsch”, the soundtrack of “The third Man” and Mendelssohn’s wedding march – an admirable parody. The three artists thanked for the long lasting applause by the means of the terzetto „Joi, Mamam“ from Emmerich Kálmán’s “Die Csárdásfürstin”.

Gottfried Driesch
September, 2007



Vienna, not only in the waltz time

Lörrach. With charm and beautiful music they enchanted their audience: The first-class tenor Thomas Sigwald, the soprano Frauke Schäfer and the pianist Christian Koch presented their „Viennese Specialities“ at the Burghof Lörrach on Sunday, a colourful program with Viennese songs and operetta melodies.

 “Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume” (“Vienna, city of my dreams”), with this song of the composer R. Sieczinski, Thomas Sigwald opened the concert. He sang it airy and elegant, with a little bit of enamel in his voice, and so the tenor takes the hearts of the audience by storm. As he invites for a Viennese language course the ice for laughter is broken.

Thomas Sigwald and Frauke Schäfer spread high spirits and joie de vivre with the song “Jung samma, fesch samma” (“We are so young, we are so beautiful”), breezy and delicate they sing the spring song “Im Prater blüh’n wieder die Bäume” (“In the Prater the trees wear blooms again”). The couple spins over the stage in waltz time and she answers his heartfelt  swarming with coquettish gaze into the far.
In all songs their voices captivate through facileness and elegance. Christian Koch accompanies lively, stirringly and sometimes with a slight eye wink. The three artists invite their audience to a musical time travel through the Vienna between the 18th up to the early 20th Century.

Thomas Sigwald is engaged as a tenor at the Viennese Public Opera (Volksoper Wien), but is also at home on the great stages of the World. Frauke Schäfer, soprano and Christian Koch, pianist and répétiteur are well known and loved on the Opera stages of Austria and whole Europe. As the three of them perform world-famous operetta melodies, the audience applause in an almost never ending, enthusiastic way; among other songs there is the bubbly “Uhrenduett” (“Clock-duet”) from “Die Fledermaus”, or “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” (“Thine is my whole heart”) from “Land des Lächelns”. And even the pianist presented himself as good singer with the ironic but tender song “Die Welt ist so himmelblau” (“The whole world is coloured azure”).

Regine Ounas-Kräusel
September, 2007
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