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Opera returns to Vienna with hotel ‘window concert’

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Deserted by tourists, a hotel in Vienna gave itself a temporary one-night-only makeover, turning itself into an outdoor concert hall.

The guest bedrooms, which have stood empty during the coronavirus lockdown, were transformed into opera boxes for an evening, and the hotel courtyard into a stage to create a rare moment of joy in the city of music on Saturday.

Two opera singers and a string ensemble were invited to play at the Hotel Zeitgeist.

Guests at the Hotel Zeitgeist listened from their rooms to the singers and orchestra. PHOTO: AFP / JOE KLAMAR

As they performed in the courtyard, the spectators looked on from the windows of 40 or so rooms which they had rented for the evening.

And they approved, showering applause on to the head of the tuxedoed conductor and his elegant soprano Monika Medek.

Paid bookings for the “window concert” were sold out in three days, hotel director Andreas Purtscher told AFP.

Surrounding the inner courtyard were spectators at the windows of 40 or so rooms rented for the performance. PHOTO: AFP / JOE KLAMAR

Purtscher said the concert was intended to give the artists the opportunity to perform again and “to help people get out, to find a sense of normality in their contact with others”.

He hoped it would “remove some of the fear associated with the period of restrictions”.

More concerts planned

Since mid-April, Austria has lifted many of the restrictions taken to combat the spread of the new coronavirus but cultural life is still at a standstill because of the ban on gatherings of more than 100 people.

For artists, “work opportunities disappeared overnight,” Purtscher said.

He plans to hold at least three more window concerts before August.

Paid bookings for the concert were sold out in three days. PHOTO: AFP / JOE KLAMAR

Most of the artists programmed at the classical music halls that make the Austrian capital world-famous are freelancers, now deprived of income with the cancellation of their engagements.

Vienna hotels, deserted by tourists and business travellers, are expecting an occupancy rate of less than 10 percent for June, according to the city’s chamber of commerce.

Purtscher said he is expecting the difficult period to last “for at least a year” before the sector returns to normal activity.

Reporting and photos: AFP

Entertainment

Legendary NYC DJ Bert Bevans takes up residency in Ifuru Island Maldives

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Ifuru Island Maldives has just welcomed the legendary Bert Bevans as their in-house Resident DJ who will be spinning his tunes for the next 2 months on the island.

The Belize born DJ grew up in NYC where he moved to as a child and has spent a huge part of career playing in across the globe. He has DJ’ed in Playboy NY, Studio 54, Xenon’s, Pippins, Bonds, New York, New York, Le Circus, and has worked in promotions for Prelude Records New York before moving to London where he held residencies in Annabelle’s, Embassy Club, Xenon’s, and Camden Palace.

During his time in London, Bert joined Justin Berkmann & Humphrey Waterhouse to create “Ministry of Sound” where he was a resident DJ as well as was one of the pioneers of the music label “Ministry of Sound” He has also worked with a number of well known artists such as Kathy Brown, Sheree Hicks, Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and various others.

Forty years on and he continues to wow crowds worldwide with his sets of classics and bona fide house music. From Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza to Ministry in London, there’s nothing he likes more than to play extended sets up to 10 or 12 hours long.

“It’s about taking the dance floor on a journey,” he says.

Over the years, he’s collected over 30,000 records – and that dedication shows in his freewheeling sets and the connection he creates with audiences.

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Violinist Petar Markoski to host unforgettable musical performances tour in Sun Siyam Resorts

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Established musician Petar Markoski, a talented violinist, singer, and songwriter from Ohrid, Macedonia, is set to perform at Sun Siyam Resorts in the Maldives from May 1st to May 15th, 2024, showcasing his captivating musical talents at Siyam World, Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, and Sun Siyam Olhuveli.

During his musical residency at Sun Siyam Resorts, Petar Markoski will mesmerize guests with his soulful performances, enriching the artistic ambiance and elevating the cultural experience. This unique musical immersion promises to captivate discerning travelers and aficionados of fine music. Additionally, Sun Siyam Olhuveli will host a special cocktail party alongside Markoski’s performance, celebrating World Cocktail Day on May 13th in style.

Petar Markoski’s musical talent has been evident since his early years, starting his career at the young age of 9. He has received praise, awards, and widespread recognition for his virtuosity on the violin, as well as his skills as a singer and songwriter.

His repertoire covers a wide range of genres, from classical masterpieces to contemporary pop and rock hits. Markoski’s ability to effortlessly transition between musical styles has endeared him to audiences of all ages, from fans of legendary artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Elvis Presley, to admirers of modern icons such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my music with the discerning guests of Sun Siyam Resorts in the Maldives,” said Petar Markoski. “Music has the power to transcend boundaries and bring people from all walks of life together, and I am eager to create unforgettable moments through the universal language of melody.”

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Oaga Art Resort to host annual Kula Kula Festival 2024

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Oaga Art Resort, Maldives, has announced the upcoming Kula Kula Festival, taking place from April 10th to 15th, 2024.

“Kula” translates to “colour” in Dhivehi, the Maldivian language. Kula Kula, with its playful repetition, signifies an abundance of colours. This vibrant celebration promises an immersive experience into Maldivian culture, pulsating with music, dance, visual arts, and a taste of the archipelago’s unique traditions. Building on the foundation of last year’s success, the 2024 Kula Kula Festival promises an even richer experience.

A Journey Through Festivities

The festival kicks off with the joyous Eid Al-Fitr celebration on April 10th. Savour the sizzling flavours of a Maldivian BBQ dinner infused with international influences, creating a delightful communal dining experience. Enhance your Eid celebration with a visit to our live Hedhikaa station, offering delectable Maldivian short eats and delicacies to enrich your palette.

Experience the soul-stirring sounds of local Boduberu drumming, a Maali parade combined with a small narration of Koadi, along with flash dances through the day, offering a captivating journey through the Maldivian Village. The local band Sky Rock is set to liven up the stage during sunset hour with surprise guests making the performance extra special.

A Visual Feast

Witness the artistic flair of Maldivian artists throughout the festival. Be present for the book launch by local artist Baburu Akuru and a captivating live wall mural creation by the local duo, Razzan & Hampu:

  • Book Launch of ‘Baburu Akuru’ by Rafil Mohamed – Rafil Mohamed (a.k.a. Baburu Akuru) is an avid enthusiast of Maldivian culture and history, focusing mainly on folklore and the supernatural belief system prevalent among Maldivians since time immemorial. He has penned and published a book called ‘Baburu Akuru’ compiling his research, thoughts, and musings on the subject matter in January of 2023. The book is a collection of contemporary Dhivehi poems with English translations and backstories based mainly around Maldivian culture, history, folklore and the supernatural realm.
  • Live Wall Mural by Razzan and Hampu – Mohamed Razzan Abdulla (Razzan) and Fathmath Hamna (Hampu) are a husband-wife artist duo based in Maldives. With over 7 years of experience, Razzan and Hampu both specialises in visual art. They primarily work with acrylics and water colour when it comes to smaller scale artwork, while for indoor and outdoor murals they prefer working with emulsion paint in bright, vibrant and joyful colours. They are also very versatile when it comes to digital art and combined, have completed countless illustrations for various resorts, corporations, NGOs, children’s books, and calendars to name a few.

A Celebration of Community

The Kula Kula Fair on April 11th offers a vibrant marketplace featuring local artisans, live art demonstrations, and captivating performances. Participate in a variety of games, create recycled art at the Coral Live Station, or get a henna tattoo with a twist.

Throughout the week, guests can partake in a specially curated “Cocktail of the Day” showcasing Maldivian, Brazilian, and Indian delights.

Immerse Yourself in Music

The festival comes alive with music performances throughout the week. Sway to the rhythm of local talents, featuring Axsam and Alikko’s sun kissed beats, the soulful in-house duo Dumb and Dumber, the dynamic band called Sandpaper and the husky vocals of Mai accompanied by Muthrib. Local guitarists Adlee and Muad is also set to make an appearance, culminating in a special DJ night featuring DJ Afruh on April 12th and many more.

Unleashing Your Inner Artist

Embrace your creativity with the Tie-Dye experience available during the festival days. Travellers can personalise plain white t-shirts with the assistance of the resort’s art and vibe community, resulting in a unique memento of the festival.

The Kula Kula Festival at Oaga Art Resort promises an unforgettable experience, brimming with cultural exploration, artistic expression, and delightful culinary discoveries. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Maldivian culture.

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