Harald Serafin isn’t a Christian, but he’s a lucky kid that longtime singer, actor, artist and director Morbisch Seveschbeli can look back on a long-featured career, which began on December 24, 1931. The room singer who ascended to “Mr. Wonderbar” on the farthest Appreciation with “Role” as Moderate Jury of “Dancing Stars” celebrates its 90th birthday today.
Seraphine saw the light of day on Christmas Eve in Lithuania. His mother came from Salzburg, from which he says that he has his own funny style and talent for “ripping off customers”. His temperament comes from an Italian father. The parents had to leave Lithuania for the first time in 1939, and after a few years they fled from East Prussia to Bamberg. The money was made by entrepreneurs in their textile house. Her son, Harald, was originally supposed to be a doctor.
Seraphin studied medicine for a few semesters, but kept thinking about quitting. At some point he found the time to “protest my father. It was really a wonderful moment in my development. I became a man,” the Christmas man said in an APA interview. Seraphin attended the University of Music in Berlin and the Conservatory in Nuremberg and trained as an opera singer (baritone).
After his engagements in Switzerland and Germany, he was discovered by his close friend Otto Schenk and company as “Eisenstein” in the classic operetta “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss. Then Serafin’s career took its course. She appeared in several operas, at the Volksoper in Vienna, at the Théâtre an der Wien and concerts in the United States and Japan followed.
In 1989, Seraphine underwent surgery on his vocal cords and decided to put aside singing, which he had already left as a gift to his two now successful children Daniel and Martina Seraphine. In 1992, he took on what had been a fairly successful opera stage on Lake Neusiedl. In the course of his administration, he made the Mörbisch Seefestspiele the proverbial “Mecca of the operetta”. Seraphine turned everything upside down, reconstructing and expanding the stage, auditorium, technology and entrance area and, year after year, bringing more and more audiences to the North Burgenland community. Soon as many as 220,000 visitors came to Mörbisch each season.
Seraphine was often on the lake stage himself. In his speeches before the premiere, the artist insisted on targeting politicians who were present. After 20 years at the helm of the company, Seraphine finally quit in 2012 with “The Bat”. In 2015 he was awarded honorary membership of the Seefestspiele and the previous year on the Commander’s Cross with the Burgenland County Star.
A permanent entry in Austrian mass television consciousness apart from the operetta, Seraphine brought to the jury in the second season of ORF’s popular dance show “Dancing Stars” in 2006: “Wunderbar” in his ratings made him “Mister Wunderbar” – and known as such For younger audiences Seraphine has been a familiar face to more mature TV fans for some time as a regular guest on “Seitenblicke”.
The audience favorite of “Serafin on tour” also traveled to the country as an ORF cultural ambassador, visiting local festival platforms until 2014 as part of the program. In recent years, Kammersänger has been drawn to the stage time and time again. For example, in 2015 he was seen in the last directorial work of Helmut Löhner in Bob Larby’s “Schon wieder Sonntag” in the Kammerspiele of the Theater in der Josefstadt together with Otto Schenk, or Daniel was in Schiller’s “Die Räuber” by Matthias Hartmann in Salzburg State Theatre.
But the party will take place now – two days in a row. After all, his wife Ingeborg turned 80 on December 23. Seraphine has also been celebrated in the past, for which the jubilee has received numerous awards, including the Cross of Honor for Science and the Arts (2001) and the Gold Medal of Honor for the Federal Capital Vienna (2007). And since 2006, Harald Seraphin has been able to call himself a Knight of the Order of Services to Lithuania.
So much honor is enough reason for ORF to release TV fireworks to the audience favorite. On December 30, Serafin is set for a full Honor Day at ORF III, which will feature the portrait of “Wonderful Years – Harald Serafin on His 90th Birthday” (7.30pm) as well as the popular 2008 theater production “Sonny Boys” with Serafin and Peter Weck ( 9:05 pm). A version of “From the Archives” from 2016 (11:40 a.m.) and two comedies from Kammerspiele (“Der Neurosen-Kavalier” at 3:20 p.m. and “Schon wieder Sonntag” at 5:25 p.m.) can also be revived here. On the other hand, the interview titled “Everyone Loves Mr. Wunderbar – 90 Years of Harald Serafin”, which Peter Fässlacher will be having with the birthday kid from 8:15pm, is brand new. Anticipating December 30, Ö1 invites you to the “Hörbilder Spezial” on December 25 from 10:05 AM.
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