Avatar photo

Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Part of UK in Austria

11th April 2019 Vienna, Austria

The Hare with Amber Eyes – live in Linz

A family is torn apart by war and discrimination.  Many family members are murdered.  Years later, a descendant of one of the survivors tries to find out what happened.

This might not sound a promising premise for a musical.

But at the Landestheater Linz on 6 April, the world premiere of the musical “The Hare with Amber Eyes” took place, based on the book of the same name by British author Edmund de Waal.

Let me declare: I think the book “The Hare with Amber Eyes” is a brilliant account of the impact of the Holocaust on one family, and fully deserves its best-seller status. If you have not read it, take a look.  When I met librettist Henry Mason and composer Thomas Zaufke at the Jewish Museum in Vienna last year and heard that they were planning to launch a musical based on the book, I was intrigued; but found it hard to imagine how they would do it.

In fact, the show is a triumph.  It is full of catchy tunes and manages the long time-span of the book cleverly.  At one point three actors playing three differently-aged versions of the same person, de Waal’s inspirational Uncle Iggy, are on the stage at once.  Many scenes are moving; others are inspirational.  The character of Edmund de Waal plays a central role – curious at the premiere, where the real Edmund de Waal was in the audience watching himself on stage.

The last time I saw Edmund de Waal was at the unveiling of his new work at the Embassy here in Vienna last year, when I was proud to hold the eponymous hare in my hand.  The hare was also on display when Edmund curated a show at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 2016.  He is a creative and inspiring person.

I congratulate Henry Mason, Thomas Zaufke and the Landestheater Linz for bringing “The Hare with Amber Eyes” to the stage.  I hope it is a success – perhaps one day, in Vienna too.

3 comments on “The Hare with Amber Eyes – live in Linz

  1. War… yes I hate war, it create horror to everyone, even for the people who watch the horror from long distance such as my self. but my country also the victim of war itself , why can we just live in peace, in harmony, even we came from different nations or tribe or skin, but different is beautiful. hope no more war in this beautiful planet…

  2. It was an honour to have you and your partner in Linz at our world premiere of DER HASE MIT DEN BERNSTEINAUGEN the musical, Mr Ambassador. And thank you for the warm words! You will be always welcome if you want to see our still new and shiny Musiktheater.

    1. Many thanks! I immensely enjoyed my visit to see “The Hare with Amber Eyes” and look forward to coming to Linz again.

Comments are closed.

About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.