Photo: Mr. Yan Min
A Viennese ball featuring the best of Austrian culture was held in Shanghai over the weekend, to great acclaim.
For the second year running, a ball featuring Viennese food, music and culture was held at the Hyatt at the Bund hotel in Shanghai, China.
Organized in conjunction with the Austrian consul general, Silvia Neureiter, the ball gave an opportunity for locals to experience Austrian cuisine and 'Gemütlichkeit' (a combination of charm and comfort.)
The Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra performed the music of Franz Léhar, while Austrian ballet performer Gregor Hatala danced.
The Artistic Director for the evening was Matthias Fletzberger - a child prodigy, accepted into the University of Music in Vienna at the age of five - who conducted the orchestra.
Violin soloist Lidia Baich - who won her first international competition at the age of eight - dazzled the audience with her virtuoso talent.
Soprano Mónika Fischl and tenor Laszlo Maleczky performed arias and duets to the delight of the audience. In addition, a special guest performance by Jinxu Xiahou, a rising Chinese star in the opera world won him rapturous applause.
The ball kept the tradition, and opened with the dance of the debutantes and their escorts coming from the German School Shanghai, who performed the Polonaise.
Dance master Martin Grund managed to get everyone out of their seats to participate in the midnight quadrille.
“We are delighted with how the second Viennese ball has turned out. The décor was elegant and detailed, the food was delicious, the entertainment was top-notch and best of all, everyone had such a good time. I saw many guests were coming back from last year’s event. The night was truly awesome and I feel so privileged that I was able to bring this grand Austrian tradition to Shanghai, share it with more people and have them love it”, said Neureiter.
The General Manager of Hyatt on the Bund, Gottfried Bogensperger, added, “It honestly was a great benefit from last year’s experience for us to bring out such a grand event a second time, but took a lot of hard work and required the dedication and commitment of many people as well. It is, therefore, definitely very satisfying and rewarding to see how everyone enjoyed themselves and appreciated the whole evening. I believe this is definitely not an end but a cheerful start for cultural transference!”
Bogensperger also told The Local that after the ball, "I am proud to be an Austrian!"
Quotes from various additional guests include:
"Anyone can make/have a Ball, but it took Hyatt on the Bund to chart the course and organise a true Viennese Ball."
"Before that I did not know what a true Viennese Ball is all about."
"I am so proud that my daughter was a real debutant - thank you Hyatt on the Bund."
"Wow, wow, wow and we will be back next year."
"One can see and feel that no expense was spared to bring an authentic Viennese Ball to Shanghai."
"This was a dinner to die for! Never knew that Austria could make such great wines."
"A great Ball connects with people and you did just that! I am so honored to have been invited to this Ball."
"It is already 5am - I can’t believe it."
"Everyone looked just beautiful."
PICTURE GALLERY: Vienna in Shanghai