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South Texas Living


Julie Andrews of ‘Great Performances: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2012’ on PBS

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January 4, 2012
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Q: With this being your third time hosting the “Great Performances” New Year’s Day concert from Vienna, can one assume it’s always pleasurable duty for you?

A: It is. I wasn’t able to do it last year, unfortunately, because my husband (filmmaker Blake Edwards) sadly passed away, and I had to attend to all of that. It’s lovely to be going back this year, and I do enjoy it. It’s a beautiful city and a lovely event, and it makes for a very pleasant stay.

Q: Do you also enjoy touring various Viennese sites as part of the program?

A: It’s kind of a wonderful picture postcard, particularly the way PBS frames it. I do get to travel around, and it’s just a joy. They’re lovely people to work with, and of course, the music is spectacular.

I didn’t know Vienna that well, though I did know Salzburg pretty well for obvious reasons (Andrews’ classic movie “The Sound of Music” was filmed there). Now I know it a lot better, and though I’m working when I’m there, I have gotten the chance to go to one or two of the lovely museums.

Q: Did you come into this special already very familiar with the Strauss music that’s traditionally played on it?

A: I wasn’t fully steeped in it, but I have to confess that as a child performer, I would do these awfully bastardized versions of some of the Strauss waltzes with terrible English lyrics. I knew some of them from that, but to hear them really beautifully played is lovely.

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