Culture, Media, Science
German Federal President Köhler pays official visit to Austria
The reform processes in Germany and Austria were the top item on the agenda of the talks held by German Federal President Horst Köhler at his official visit to Vienna on 18 August 2004 with Federal President Heinz Fischer and Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel. Germany could in fact “look to Austria”, said Köhler after his meeting with Fischer. The German head of state explained that in Austria there were no demonstrations although the reforms were very similar. Köhler stated that “a balance had to be found” between reforms carried out too fast “putting an excessive strain on society” and those that were too slow and meant that one “lost ground” and lagged behind the competitors. Köhler explained that the German labour market reform “Hartz IV“ was in principle right but “the concerns of people had to be taken very seriously”. He had also discussed with Fischer “what social partnership meant in today’s world of adjustments”. Fischer expressed his concern about the protests in Germany and said that he wished for “a Germany where reforms are taking place against a background of stability”. He hoped for “a consensus as wide as possible”. Bilateral relations were described as smooth in Köhler’s talks with Fischer and Schüssel. According to Fischer, there was “a maximum level of agreement” on issues at the European level. The German head of state shared the opinion of Federal Chancellor Schüssel that close cooperation with the new Member States in Central and Eastern Europe, which had joined the EU in the last enlargement round of ten new members on 1 May 2004, was crucial. Köhler also stressed that it was in the interest of Austria and Germany that “enlargement will be a success”.
After the meeting with the Austrian Federal Chancellor, the Presidents and their wives – Horst and Eva Köhler, Heinz and Margit Fischer – visited the new sensational Liechtenstein Museum. In view of the 100th anniversary of the Austrian Football Federation (Österreichischer Fußballbund/ÖFB), the official evening programme included the friendly game Austria-Germany (1:3) at the Ernst Happel stadium. ■
Reconciliation Fund: significant payments to NS victims
By July of this year the Austrian Reconciliation Fund had paid indemnification to 125,843 former slave and forced labourers. The Fund endowed with 436 million € will make payments to an estimated total of 140,000 beneficiaries. To date 335 million € have been distributed. The Fund will be active until 31 December 2005.
NS slave and forced labourers were recruited mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. Hence, damages were paid to 42,556 people in Ukraine, 22,573 in Poland, 12,973 in Russia, 11,053 in the Czech Republic, 5,531 in Hungary and 4,335 in Belarus. Indemnification payments were also made to 26,802 applicants in more than 60 countries across the world.
The Fund endowed with money from the federal government, the federal provinces and the economy was established on 20 December 2000. It is making payments to three types of beneficiaries: slave labourers receive 7,630.65 €, industrial workers 2,543.56 € and agricultural workers 1,453.46 €.
As originally a total of 150,000 eligible survivors had been assumed, a surplus of some dozens of million euro is now expected. As requested by the respective national partner organisations, the remaining funds are to be used for humanitarian projects benefiting surviving former forced labourers and their heirs in these countries.
In accordance with the Reconciliation Fund Act, the Board of Trustees chaired by Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel has to adopt a decision on the distribution of the remaining funds by the end of 2004. ■
Israel’s President of Parliament Rivlin pays official visit to Austria
Israel’s President of Parliament Reuven Rivlin paid an official visit to Austria on 6 September 2004. The Likud politician has been the first chairman of the Knesset to visit Vienna since 1997. He accepted an invitation of President of Nationalrat (Lower House of Parliament) Andreas Khol and met inter alia with President Fischer, Chancellor Schüssel and Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner. He will also make visits to the National Fund and the General Settlement Fund of the Republic of Austria. ■
Federal President Fischer with Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner in Prague
On 25 August 2004 Federal President Heinz Fischer paid a one-day official visit to Prague. Main items on the official agenda were talks with Czech President Vaclav Klaus and new Prime Minister Stanislav Gross. Fischer went to the Czech Republic together with Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who had also accompanied him in his first state visits to Hungary and Slovakia after his inauguration. On the occasion of the official visit to the Czech Republic, the Federal President gave an interview to the Austrian daily “Kurier“, in which controversial issues like the Beneš decrees and nuclear power were addressed. Fischer pleaded “not to look back. After the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU, we have to open a new chapter – to the benefit of the people in both countries”. Certainly he would “not exclude burning issues from the talks. The nuclear power plant Temelin or compliance with the Melk agreement were however the responsibility of the federal government“.
Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner, whose sphere of competence as a future EU commissioner will also cover the relations with the countries neighbouring the EU, stressed the main objective of a European neighbourhood policy, i.e. to share the advantages of the EU enlargement round of 2004 “by strengthening stability, security and wealth of all those involved”. She also highlighted the significance of the EU Constitution, which would provide a solid foundation to the Union. She called for a firm commitment at the regional, national and European level: “We have to seek and build up public acceptance of the Constitution on a long-term basis”. The talks also focused on improving the transport infrastructure between Austria and the Czech Republic, e.g. the motorway Vienna-Brno and the railway route Linz-Çeské Budéjo¬vice, which are considered priority projects also by the EU. ■
Ferrero-Waldner new Commissioner for External Relations of the EU
Austria’s Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner will become the new EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy. She succeeds the parting British EU Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten. After her future office was announced on 12 August 2004 by designated EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Ferrero-Waldner referred to a “key function for the entire European Union” and a “great honour for Austria”.
Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel also showed himself highly pleased about Barroso’s decision: Ferrero-Waldner’s appointment as Commissioner for External Relations was “a great challenge for our Foreign Minister“, said Schüssel. “Foreign policy is one of the three main areas of EU policy. I congratulate Benita Ferrero-Waldner sincerely on her appointment and I am convinced that she will perform this challenging mission excellently“. ■
Austrian government delegation in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
Minister of Education Elisabeth Gehrer, Minister of Health Maria Rauch-Kallat and Secretary of State for the Arts and Media Franz Morak paid an official visit to the Central Asian states Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in mid-August. They discussed issues such as cooperation in the field of education as well as university networking projects with their counterparts. Their programme also covered visits to universities, schools, theatres and hospitals as well as meetings with artists. In the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek the exhibition “East-West” was opened. The show initiated by Austria presents works of Austrian and Central Asian artists. ■
Government steps up aid for Darfur
According to the UN, the conflict in Darfur (Western Su¬dan/Africa) affects about 1.2 million people. Hundreds of thousands are threatened by starvation. As Chancellor Schüssel announced on 10 August 2004, the government increases aid by about 1 million €. Thus Austria makes available a total of 1.2 million €.
A donation campaign launched by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and the “Nach¬bar in Not“ charity was presented at the ORF centre in Vienna on 17 August 2004 in the presence of Federal President Fischer. ■
IMF praises Austria’s budget policy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised the Austrian federal government for its budget and tax reforms but at the same time demanded “a comprehensive re-definition of the role of the state”.
“The responsible officers (of the IMF) have congratulated the (Austrian) authorities on their success in balancing the budget, curbing public spending and tackling a reform process, which has produced impressing results within a short time“, informed the news agency AFP about an IMF report referred to as “Chapter 4“.
This “sound” policy had helped Austria in “coping fairly well with the global economic slowdown”, stressed the International Monetary Fund and underlined its support for the objectives of the federal government’s budget and fiscal policy.
The short-term economic outlook was in general favourable, stated the report. The success of the tax reforms would, however, depend on a lasting reduction of public spending, especially in the areas of public administration, health and transfers.
The IMF supported the view of the Austrian authorities that a fundamental re-definition of the role of the state was necessary to achieve tax cuts and a balanced budget. ■
OMV acquired Petrom majority
Austria’s biggest mineral oil concern OMV sealed the largest foreign participation transaction in the history of the Austrian corporate sector by acquiring a majority stake in the public Romanian oil group Petrom. The agreement on the privatisation of Petrom was signed by Romanian State President Adrian Nastase and OMV CEO Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer in Bucharest in July of this year.
OMV now holds 51% of the enterprise corresponding to about 1.4 to 1.5 billion euro and has the right of preemption for the remaining government shares. This made his group “the clear number one in Central and Eastern Europe”, explained Ruttenstorfer.
In concrete terms, OMV purchases 33.34% of the Petrom shares from the Romanian government, for which it pays 669 million euro. This investment is raised to 51% by a simultaneous capital increase. OMV expects a price of 723 to 855 million euro – the final price depended for example on the fact whether the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will convert a loan into a 2.1% investment. The OMV has agreed to contribute 50% of the capital increase within the first 30 months and the remaining difference within another two and a half years.
According to the Romanian government, OMV will assume debts of Petrom totalling 292 million euro. The transaction is expected to be concluded in the fourth quarter.
With this one-and-a-half-billion-euro investment, OMV expands its network of petrol stations from about 1,782 to 2,382. The market share in the Danube region is climbing from 13 to 18%, and in Romania OMV is increasing its share from 6 to 30%. Moreover, through the majority stake in Petrom the Austrian group gains access to vast oil reserves not only in Romania but also in Kazakhstan and the Black Sea. Petrom’s secure oil and gas reserves amount to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), while those of the OMV total about 410 million boe. ■
Athens 2004: Olympic victories for Austrian companies
Austrian companies were highly successful at the Olympic Games in Athens: Alpine-Mayreder-Bau improved the transport infrastructure in ancient Olympia and was awarded a contract worth 216 million euro in the framework of the expansion of the underground system in Athens. The company Bären-Batterie was contracted by the public Greek Telecom (OTE) to supply storage batteries. Frequentis Communication and Information Systems provided the integrated dispatch communication system (IDCS) for the command and control centre of the Olympic Games. VA Tech T&D established a gas-insulated switchgear worth about 7 million €. Rosenbauer-International exported 50 fire engines for 8 million €. In the past years, the company had already exported 72 fire fighting vehicles and turntable ladders worth more than 20 million € to Greece. The Austrian exports to Greece grew by 27.3% in 2002 and by 13.7% to 524 million € in 2003. Imports increased by 6.5% to 137 million €. ■
Morak invites media world to Vienna
From 25 to 27 November 2004 Vienna will be the hub of the media world: at the European Television and Film Forum 400 international experts will gather in the National Library to exchange information and to formulate the result of the meeting, the “Vienna media theses”. The Forum organised by the Düsseldorf-based European Institute for the Media takes place at a different location every year. This year it followed the call of Secretary of State for the Media Morak, Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH (RTR), the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and the Film Association of the Economic Chamber Austria. Among the speakers invited are Premiere chief Georg Kofler, “Big Brother“ inventor John de Mol, William M. Murray of the Motion Picture Association of America and EU Commissioner Viviane Reding. The topic is “Expanding the Horizon – New Countries, New Players, New Platforms“. As Franz Morak explained, he expected a discussion beyond the confines of Austria since debates in this country “usually took a similar course”. It was a special concern to him to involve the Central and Eastern European countries in the Forum. ■
European Forum Alpbach: Boundaries and Beyond
This year the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) is taking place for the 60th time in Tyrol (from 19 August to 4 September 2004). The general theme of this year “Boundaries and Beyond” is dedicated to the enlarged borders of the EU but also the assumed and real limits of medical and technological research, of the welfare state, intellectual life and culture. The opening ceremony was attended by Federal President Heinz Fischer and his Czech counterpart, President Vaclav Klaus. The keynote speech was given by the Viennese philosopher Konrad Paul Liessmann, who proclaimed: “Europe’s borders still have to be invented!“ and in this context he put up for discussion the long-term integration not only of Turkey but also of Ukraine, Belarus and Israel.
Part and parcel of EFA is the Seminar Week, which will permit also this year an in-depth dialogue between internationally active scientists and students. The “talks” are also unique: the technology, reform, architecture, media, health, economic and political symposiums brought once more distinguished guests to Alpbach, such as Oscar Lafontaine, who spoke about the “limits of the all-inclusive state“. The general meeting in the framework of the political symposium addressed interesting subjects, e.g. “the limits of globalisation” inter alia with WTO Deputy Director-General Roderick Abbott as well as “crisis management and crisis ¬intervention – focus on South Eastern Europe“ with EU Convention member Lojze Peterle. Among those participating in the economic symposium was President of the Federation of Austrian Industrialists (IV) Veit Sorger, OMV CEO Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer as well as the economists Dennis L. Meadows and Carl Christian von Weizsäcker. In the framework of the health symposium, for example the managing director of the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology, Josef Martin Penninger, spoke about the application of genome research. ■
Focus on Austria at film co-producers’ meeting in Sarajevo
Austria was a focus at the four-day meeting of co-producers “Cine Link“ of the 10th International Film Festival in Sarajevo (20 to 28 August 2005). Austrian film-makers and representatives of film institutions were invited to the annual co-production market for feature films in the Bosnian capital, where they could participate in discussions with about 80 film-makers from the South Eastern European region and talk about concrete film projects in individual meetings: the producers Franz Novotny (Novotny Film), Gabriele Kranzelbinder and Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu (Amour Fou Film), Veit Heidischka (Wega-Film), Danny Krausz (Dor Film), Josef Aichholzer (Aichholzer Film), Andreas Hruza (Prisma Film) as well as the managing directors of Synchro Film (Alexander Wieser), of Film¬ Fund Vienna (Peter Zawrel), the Austrian Film Institute (Roland Teichmann) and the Association of the Audiovisual and Film Industry of Austria (Werner Müller).
Two discussion rounds were dedicated to international co-productions. Under the motto “The Real Meaning of Coproduction“, film representatives from Europe discussed the conditions for joint film projects beyond national borders from an economic, legal and cultural perspective. Franz Novotny and his Serbian co-production partner for the film “Gori Vatra“ (working title “Fuse“) were jointly responsible for the panel “Coproduction of European Neighbours: FUSE creativity and funds!“ and explained the experience and challenges of co-productions between Austria and Bosnia/
Herzegovina. Numerous projects promoted by the Film Fund Vienna, e.g. “Zelary“, also showed that film-makers from the Eastern and South Eastern European states are increasingly important partners of Austrian film-makers. ■
Otto Anton Eder 1930-2004
The legendary ORF film director Otto Anton Eder died aged 75 in the early morning hours of 25 August 2004. His second wife was Astrid Monika Eder-Lindner, the current Director General of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). Otto Anton Eder shaped important programmes such as “Wünsch dir was“, “Der Fenstergucker“, “Quiz 21“, “Familie Leitner“, “Der Leihopa“, “Zeit im Bild“ and “Club 2“, “Guten Abend Österreich“, “Hori¬zonte“, “Willkommen Österreich“ and the Christmas programme “Licht ins Dunkel“, one of Europe’s most important charity events. Eder was born in Klagenfurt in 1930. After completing his dramaturgy studies, he worked as an assistant producer at Theater an der Wien and Wiener Kammerspiele. He participated in the very first pilot programmes of ORF. In 1968 he directed the first completely moderated TV programme in the history of ORF. ■
25th anniversary of Linz sound cloud
On 18 September 1979 the very first sound cloud – Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony – covered Linz and ushered in Ars Electronica, the festival for art, technology and society. Since then, up to 150,000 visitors have crowded the Danube Park annually to enjoy Austria’s major open-air event. Cultural titbits will attract large audiences also this year: on 4 September 2004 the composer Peter Wolf invites with “sense-ation“ to the “Sinfonie in sieben Sinnen”; Christian Weißkircher is responsible for the visualisation. The audience will enjoy once more an impressing mixture of projections of music and fireworks. One week later the festival will cater for children: Timna Brauer’s musical fairytale “Die begeisterten Trommeln“ highlights different percussion instruments. On 12 September 2004, the sound cloud series is rounded off with classical music, i.e. Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. The concert of the Bruckner Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies at Brucknerhaus will be transmitted by video walls to the Danube Park as in the years before. The sound clouds impress both visually and acoustically: the transmission volume of the sound equipment has increased by more than twelve times over the past 25 years to about 250,000 watts. The organisers are proud of their Dolby-Surround equipment, and rightly so as it is considered to be the largest in the world. ■
“Heimat” film festival in Freistadt
From 25 to 29 August 2004 the 17th festival “Der neue Heimatfilm“ took place in Freistadt (Upper Austria), including the cinemas of Katzdorf and Neukirchen/Enknach. For some years the festival’s main aim has been to be challenge the predominantly urban medium cinema and to do away with the clichés associated with “Heimat films“, i.e. films with a strong focus on national identity. Annually up to 25 programmes covering feature films, documentaries as well as short films are offered. In the recent years after the focus on Switzerland Italy has been in the limelight. Film directors such as Giuliano Montaldo, Florestano Vancini, Carlo Lizzani or the script writer Niccola Badalucco were guests in Freistadt. At the opening event “Augenleuchten“, the latest film of Wolfgang Paulus from Salzburg, was shown. The Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki with his latest work “Honey Baby“ was also represented at the Freistadt festival. At the Munich Film Festival a retrospective had been dedicated to Mika and his brother Aki. Paulus and Kaurismäki have been friends since they attended the Munich film school: Mika was behind the camera in the first films of Paulus.
The festival also spotlighted the Swiss documentary film-maker Erich Langjahr, who has been exploring the identity of the human being in his films for 30 years. On the occasion of his 60th birthday, he was awarded the honorary prize of the City of Freistadt and a retrospective with four films was presented. Excellent documentaries were shown, e.g. Andreas Horvath’s “This ain’t no heartland“, that received the “Grand Prix” at the Chicago International Documentary Festival.
The by now traditional Italy series spotlights the actor-director Corso Salani. His cinematographic explorations are based on the subject “travel” leading him above all to Eastern European countries. His main interest is the embedding of people in their environment. Edmund Budina’s “Lettere al vento“, an impressive film with an autobiographic touch, also focuses on emigration as a central travel motif of the modern cinema. Budina, who has lived as a factory worker in Italy since 1991 and plays the lead himself, succeeded in making a poetic and imaginative film in the style of Emir Kusturica drawing from Italian Neorealism. A special film show was dedicated to the Sardinian cinema, with Giovanni Columbus’ “Arcipelaghi“ giving insight into an archaic and fascinating world.
The local film scene proudly presented six video films, e.g. Angela Summereder’s “Ort – Ried“. ■
Pernegg Convent: Globart Academy
From 26 to 29 August 2004 the annual “Globart Academy“ was held at the Convent of Pernegg (Waldviertel/Lower Austria). In this contemplative environment in-depth discussions, readings and music (e.g. by Karlheinz Essl) revolving around this year’s topic “The New Image of the Human Being” were offered. Catholic bishop Erwin Kräutler, who has been fighting against the unscrupulous looting and exploitation of the Amazon region in Brazil for many years, has now received the “Globart Award“. Other eminent personalities were the writers Peter Turrini and Jiři Gruša, former Vice-Chancellor Josef Riegler and theatre manager Elisabeth Schweeger.
The mission of Globart – an independent cultural initiative set up as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) – is to inspire the arts and sciences to a new human and social image and to contribute to the peaceful coexistence of peoples and cultures. Globart is convinced that artistic means of expression raise the awareness of the unity of people. The event at Pernegg was under the aegis of EU Commissioner for Education and Culture Viviane Reding. ■
Prague and Czech lands in the Danube monarchy 1791-1914
A large-scale exhibition on show at the Clam-Gallas Palace in Prague until 19 September 2004 explores the roots of the modern Czech state: “The Hapsburg century. Prague and the Czech lands in the Danube monarchy 1791-1914“. It will then move on to Ctenice Palace, which has been converted into a museum.
Historians are of the opinion that in the 19th century Bohemia had a strong “Austrian” touch. Then the foundation of today’s civil society as well as of contemporary expressions of nationalism had been laid. Population groups without rights were granted political co-determination, and a Czech nation with a highly developed culture emerged within the Danube monarchy. With pieces of art, portraits, dioramas and objects relating to the monarchy, the exhibition documents how dynastic and national state ideas penetrated every-day life. While the Czechs originally showed a great loyalty vis-à-vis the Hapsburgs as they believed that their national ambitions would be achieved without violence, the gap started to widen in the 1870s when Emperor Francis Joseph had to repeal the state right announced for the Kingdom of Bohemia and Moravia due to the pressure exerted by the Germans and Hungarians. ■
Archives congress in Vienna
Archivists of the entire world gathered for the first time in Vienna from 23 to 29 August 2004 for their International Congress on Archives held every four years. The congress was organised by the Austrian State Archives in cooperation with the International Council on Archives (ICA), the global umbrella organisation with more than 1,700 members from about 180 countries. About 2,000 participants discussed the general topic “Archives, Memory and Knowledge“ at the Austria Center Vienna. Director General of the State Archives Lorenz Mikoletzky was appointed ICA chairman for a term of office of four years. ■
Olympic Games 2004 in Athens: dream result for Austria
With seven medals at the XXVIII. Olympic Games in Athens, Austria can look back on the most successful summer games since Berlin 1936. Kate Allen (tri¬athlon) as well as Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher (tornado sailing) won Olympic gold. Silver medals went to Markus Rogan (swimming: 100 and 200 m backstroke), Andreas Geritzer (laser sailing) and Claudia Heill (judo: women’s 63 kg). Christian Planer earned a bronze medal in shooting (men’s 50 m rifle, 3 positions).
Athens, which had been selected to host the Olympic Games at the IOC session in Lausanne on 5 September 1997, succeeded in offering the athletes, functionaries and audience peaceful, safe and excellently organised games. With Athens as the host city, the games returned to their historical birth place. Thanks to a combination of ancient cultural sites and state-of-the-art sports facilities (OAKA Olympic Stadium) the games had a sophisticated cultural flair.
“With the sports promotion scheme Top Sport Austria injecting about 2.4 million euro into concrete Athens projects in the last two years, we have embarked on a successful path“, stressed Secretary of State for Sports Karl Schweitzer. “Our athletes were prepared for the Olympic Games more thoroughly than ever before. Now we have to take the appropriate future-oriented measures to ensure that we will be victorious also at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008“, explained Schweitzer. ■
Secretary of State Schweitzer supports Sporthilfe image campaign
In cooperation with the Greek Tourist Office, the Austrian Sporthilfe is conducting an “integrated image campaign” publicised by different media (TV, print, poster and Internet). The aim is to enhance the image and thus raise public awareness of Sporthilfe. This will ensure that new impulses are given to the well-aimed support of young athletes and top-level sports. The project was presented to the public by the director of the Greek Tourist Office in Vienna, Wasso Kaparou, Secretary of State for Sports Schweitzer and Sporthilfe’s managing director Anton Schutti. For this campaign, which is all about “making wishes”, three of the 375 athletes supported by Sporthilfe posed as models presenting their wishes: the gold medallist (tornado sailing) Roman Hagara, Markus Rogan, the swimmer winning silver as well as the world champion 2003 in the points race (cycling) Franz Stocher. The Greek Tourist Office offered a “special reward” to the Austrian medallists: the athletes may now, after the Olympic Games have come to an end, enjoy their holiday in Greece. ■
Austrian Football Federation (ÖFB) celebrates its 100th anniversary
On 17 August 2004 the Austrian Football Federation (Österreichischer Fußballbund/ÖFB) celebrated its 100th anniversary with the gala “Sound of Football“ at Vienna State Opera. In the presence of FIFA President Joseph Blatter, UEFA President Lennart Johans¬son, Federal President Heinz Fischer, Secretary of State for Sports Karl Schweitzer, the football legends Franz Beckenbauer and Michel Platini, tribute was paid to Austrian footballers for their outstanding achievements.
Herbert Prohaska was honoured as the “footballer of the century”, the unforgettable Ernst Happel as the “trainer of the century”, team captain Thomas Ivanschitz as an outstanding talent, Anton Polster as the ÖFB’s record kicker (44 scores in 95 international matches) as well as Andreas Herzog as the ÖFB’s record team player (103 international matches). In the show block 1,600 guests from 48 countries could admire not only the Vienna Boys’ Choir but also Zucchero, the tenor Serge Nayda and the Belgian singer Helmut Lotti. ■