Brüno critic wants William and Kate at Opera Ball

The Austrian ambassador in London has revealed plans to invite Great Britain’s royal newlyweds to the Vienna Opera Ball.Emil Brix attended the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at London’s Westminster Abbey last week. Austrian broadcaster ORF announced that its seven-hour royal wedding day programme had around 1.9 million viewers. Tens of thousands more followed international TV stations’ coverage of the occasion, according to media experts.Now Brix told illustrated magazine News: “I would like to ask them to attend the Vienna State Opera Ball and the New Year’s concert by the Vienna Philharmonic.”The diplomat said he was confident that arrangements could be made when Vienna’s Spanish Riding School (SRS) performs in London this autumn.Asked in which way Austria is recognised in England, Brix explained residents are especially interested in the country’s culture. “Main cultural events such as the Salzburger Festspiele (Salzburg Festival) are very well known here.”Brix added that Price Charles mentioned ecological agriculture activities in the Austrian province of Tyrol in his most recent book, “Harmony. A New Way of Looking at Our World.”The former head of the Austrian foreign ministry’s culture department also claimed that Britons “are aware that we know the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region well.”With this statement, Brix referred to the general point of view that especially Vienna is an ideal location to do business in the area. Many global companies focusing on the promising federal economies in CEE and Eastern Europe (EE) have offices in the Austrian capital.Brix caused controversy in 2009 when he fumed that it was “totally inappropriate” for the main character of hit comedy “Brüno” to keep linking Austria with its dark Nazi past. The diplomat said: “Everybody should speak up against that.”Referring to the film’s creator and main actor Sacha Baron Cohen, Brix said at that time: “He probably does so to create as much interest as possible for his film. It is quite cheap if he fails to do so in another way.””Brüno” portrays a fictional gay fashion journalist from Austria who shocks people he encounters with anti-Semitic rants.Asked by Austrian broadcaster ORF whether his movie damages the reputation of Austria, Cohen said back then: “My film does the opposite. I show there is an alternative to the Austrian dream – which is to have a job, find a dungeon and raise a family there.”In the interview, Cohen embarrassed reporter Peter Fritz when he asked the journalist to look him in the eyes “and not at my Kugelsack.”