Let’s Dance Operetta in Vienna

In December of 1857 Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria/Hungary magnanimously declared, “It is my will that the Vienna suburbs are to be connected to the center of imperial power.” And so he had the old city fortifications torn down, and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 7th, 2017
Muses and Musings La Comtesse Greffulhe: Female Entrepreneurial Power

She was described as “that beautiful and unchallenged sovereign of sophisticated Paris; a leader of the smart intelligentsia and unchallenged queen of the upper monde; the most distinguished lady in the whole of Parisian society.” She was born Elisabeth de [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 2nd, 2017
Born in a Mental Institution The Operetta in France

After a hard day of coming to terms with personal demons and morbid obsessions in a mental institution, not everybody is in the mood to sit through a seemingly endless Wagnerian musical drama or the monumental theatricality of a Verdi [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 30th, 2017
Muses and Musings Bettina Brentano: Everybody’s Muse!

She aroused the curiosity of Napoleon Bonaparte and went for intimate walks with Karl Marx. She entertained a significant passion for Goethe, who deflected her craving into an extended correspondence and companionship, and she was Beethoven’s muse. Robert Schumann and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 25th, 2017
Destination Sydney

Perhaps a trip to the antipodes is on your schedule. In many ways, it’s a trip to an older culture, both of the native peoples and of the western arrivals. And yet, at the same time, cut away from the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 8th, 2017
Poetic Muse Edward Elgar and Caroline Alice Roberts

Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Pleasant the snaffle of Courtship, improving the manners and carriage; But the colt who is wise will abstain from the terrible thorn-bit of Marriage.” The Irish poet Thomas Moore had a similar take on that mysterious and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 4th, 2017
Destination New York

If you’ve ever visited the place that many people consider the centre of the known universe then you’re familiar with its vibrant downtown, its meditative Central Park, the way the city buzzles, and sizzles, and then sometime is the perfect [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 1st, 2017
Muses and Musings Frédéric Chopin and the Divine Therese Apponyi

On Sunday Afternoons between1833 and 1835, Frédéric Chopin frequently made his way to 107 rue Saint-Dominique in Paris. His destination was the Hotel de Monaco, sometimes called the Hôtel d’Eckmühl, which functioned as the home of the Austrian ambassador to [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 28th, 2017