A promising young musician has been brutally murdered in a Viennese suburb today in an apparent gangland attack. It is believed to be revenge for a murder earlier this month, and is the latest in the city's deadly opera gang wars.
For years, Viennese youths have roamed the streets playing their favourite opera songs at full volume from their "orchestra boxes" - as they call their portable sound systems. The music is powerful, emotional, harsh on the ear, and widely considered a public nuisance. However, nobody dares ask the gangs to turn down the volume for fear of what they might do.
Some opera singers have managed to escape the ghetto to become successful performers, but those left behind do not usually fare so well. The life expectancy of an urban opera singer is just 35, and they are 10 times more likely to be sent to prison than an average member of the public.
The latest victim was 23 year old Sebastian Pfeifenberger, better known by his stage name Donner. He was a member of the Verdi Crew, and both Donner and gang leader Blitzen were talented aspiring opera singers, as well as both being on Austria's list of most wanted criminals.
The Verdi Crew's fiercest enemies are the Wagner Boys, who are believed to have been involved in today's shooting. Pfeifenberger was shot over 50 times in the drive-by shooting. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a car driving off speedily playing Ride Of The Valkyries at full volume.
Famous opera singer Luciano Pavarotti called on the gangs to stop the violence. "Them crazy Austrians! When I was a young opera gang member in the hoods of northern Italy, we only killed for the mafia. We kept it in the family, you know what I'm saying. But these days, bitches be doing it for kicks."
He continued, "I know old folks get real scared and confused when they hear the latest banging opera hits at the top of the charts. It sounds new and dangerous. But opera fans are people too, they're no more likely to slash you than anyone else. Mostly they just attack other opera fans anyway."