Waltzing in the new year at Strathmore

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

In Vienna, the most time-honored way to celebrate the first day of January is with music and dancing. The people call it Neujahrskonzert, which in German translates to "New Year's concert."

Returning for its 18th tour of America, "Salute to Vienna" visits Strathmore on Sunday afternoon with a stellar cast of more than 75 musicians and beautifully costumed singers and dancers in a tribute to the Waltz King, Johann Strauss Jr., and his contemporaries.

Produced by Attila Glatz and his wife, Marion, this re-creation of the original Viennese production has been officially sanctioned by the mayor of Vienna and is welcomed throughout the United States and Canada. Thirteen casts head to cities including D.C., Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and Quebec City.

"In each city, we use the best local orchestra and bring in the conductor, two singers and dancers from Europe," noted Glatz.

Onstage
'Salute to Vienna'
Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Info: $49 to $95; 301-581-5200; strathmore.org

"The conductor [at Strathmore] this year is a fantastic Strauss specialist from Sweden. Mika Eichenholz has conducted Viennese music all over the world. He is very personable and will be talking to the people ... about the pieces that will be played."

In addition to Eichenholz, the other featured performers include Hungarian soprano Monika Fischl, Viennese tenor Michael Heim and the Kiev-Aniko Ballet of Ukraine.

"The beauty of this concert is that a lot of pieces are being played -- 16 pieces, so nobody gets bored," Glatz said. "Everyone wants to hear the beautiful waltzes and polkas."

Indeed, the concert's offerings are many and varied, including Strauss's "Overture to Gypsy Baron," his "Accelerations" waltz, "Express Polka" and the "Dieser Anstand," or Watch Duet," from "Die Fledermaus."

Franz Lehar's "Liebe, du Himmel auf Erden" from "Paganini" and his "Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert" from "Giuditta" also grace the program, along with several duets and solos and a delightful encore piece.

"It's going to be a lovely concert and a great way to begin the new year," Glatz said. "It's a feel-good concert, and usually the audiences leave the hall and waltz on the street, they are so happy."

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Marie Gullard

Special to The Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner