Glamour is for the public....

in PowerHouseCreatives11 months ago


It is a common thing that with many of the concert halls that I've played in all around the world... that the difference between what the public sees of the exterior public areas and the concert hall and stage, is in stark contrast to the rabbit warren of mazes and crappy decor of the backstage! This is even more pronounced in older and quite venerable concert halls in Europe... in the newer buildings, there has been more thought (sometimes...) put in the backstage areas, and so some of them can be quite nice for the poor old working musicians.

However, this particular concert hall in Vienna (Austria), Wiener Konzerthaus, is one of the former older buildings. It has a really impressive stage (and great acoustic!)... and a grand looking public and seating area... however, all that glamour and impressiveness doesn't really extend to the backstage areas. After all, there is no point wasting style and appearance on the people who just won't appreciate it and didn't pay for their tickets in the hall... (aka the musicians...).


The Great Hall (Grosser Saal) of the Wiener Kozerthaus is quite a nice place... with several layers of seating. However, you can see that the side seating is not particularly ideal for audiences as they face inwards to the middle.... this means that audiences have to turn their heads to see the stage, which is quite uncomfortable after some time. You do get a crick in your neck! Also, the seating isn't the most comfortable.. so, although we can gripe about the fact that the audience is treated to a nice atmosphere and decor... at the very least, they will have sore bums!


Along the second floor, there are impressive columns of marble... standing at around 5-10 metres (I'm not such a good judge of distance...)... let's just say that they are pretty damn tall! They give the hall a regal and grand feeling...


However, the most impressive thing (in my mind...) is the roof of the hall. Impressive giant chandeliers round out the grand feeling... and the combination with gold gilted decorations just gives this place an amazing regal feeling. Despite the fact that the building was completed only in 1913, it really does feel like it hails from a much earlier era. A time when music was one of the primary forms of live entertainment... and these music halls were especially constructed to fill that need and demand from the public.


Compared to the grand facade of the hall and the stage... you have the tiny musician's change rooms... this tiny room is supposed to hold around 20 men... and the ladies have it much worse as there are many more of them! Still, I guess we aren't spending too much time in the change rooms...


... still, the green room (Common area) is not that much better. No couches, no food and drink machines (or platters...)... I will find a corner somewhere though... perhaps if I'm lucky, there will be a power outlet, and then I can plug in my laptop and get some alien-killing done in XCOM2 before heading out onto stage to play some of Bach's best music in the Weihnachts Oratorio!... after all, what better combination is there than turn-based alien slaying and a the divine music of Bach's Christmas cantatas?

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Is this you in one of the pictures carrying viola?

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 11 months ago 

He he... Nope! Just an accidental shot of a colleague!

A beautiful building to perform in Bengy. Too bad they didn’t make the change and green rooms more comfortable.

I guess it’s all about the the grandeur the guests see when they come in to hear the music.

 10 months ago 

Exactly... no expense is saved on the front facing side of things... after all, they are the ones paying!

I swear that they must have a common green room design that concert halls go to. I go to CU Boulder and the common room looks eerily similar to the one above. It is weird to see the mazes behind stage for sure. If it weren't for the other performers traveling to the stage in a herd, I would probably have gotten lost haha

 10 months ago 

I hate the ones that connect different concert halls underground... You go in one end, walk around some very similar white halls... and pop up somewhere else... definitely a bit disconcerting before a concert! Anyway, I think there is probably a low cost materials supplier where they can cheap out on the backstage construction somewhere...

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