The Austrian multi-talent Nikolaus Habjan is familiar to many as a stage director and puppeteer, having won considerable renown for his productions and concerts far beyond the German-language region. Thus, the coming season will see him direct productions at the Theater an der Wien, the Dortmund Opera and Dresden’s Semper Opera. His directing obligations would be enough to fill a season, but Nikolaus Habjan will also appear in numerous concerts, such as his celebrated programmes with the Musicbanda Franui or as a whistling artist, an activity that has taken him to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Berlin’s State Opera and Vienna’s Konzerthaus.
His latest coup is remarkable in several ways: it is an evening of artful whistling in which he will perform familiar and less familiar opera arias from all eras, accompanied by a symphony orchestra, as the author Paulus Hochgatterer has his “autumnal friend” ponder love and death.
The fact that whistling, often forgotten and ignored, is indeed an art form is demonstrated by Nikolaus Habjan, one of the world’s leading whistlers, in a recent trailer: The Art of Whistling
His next whistling engagement is on June 30 at the Schauspielhaus Graz, on August 4 at the venerable Abbey of Melk, and he returns to Vienna’s Konzerthaus for the New Year’s Eve concert which has become a tradition and takes place on December 29 this year.