The Vienna State Opera is one of the world's finest opera companies. It is known for exeptional performances with superstar singers and conductors. The Vienna Opera has probably the best opera orchestra in the world, which is made up of members of the Vienna Philharmonic.
The Vienna State Opera is probably the busiest opera company in the world – with 50 to 60 operas and 10 ballet productions each season.
The Vienna State Opera is closely linked to the Vienna Philharmonic. Only a member of the Vienna State Opera orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. This co-operation greatly enriches the musical life in Vienna.
Ballet of the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsballett)
The ballet company of the Wiener Staatsoper is directed by Manuel Legris and provides the ensembles of both the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Volksoper. Manuel Legris is an international ballet star and the former principal dancer of the Paris Ballet.
Vienna Opera Ball
The Vienna Opera Ball is the fashionable highlight of Vienna’s ball season. The elite of the Viennese society comes out in their finest attire. International guests from the world of art, business and politics attend too. Altogether 12 000 guests attend the Vienna Opera Ball each year.
The ball is held in the Vienna State Opera and is an extremely lavish affair. The auditorium is transformed into a gigantic ball room and is decorated with appr. 20,000 flowers. Vienna State Opera Orchestra and the Wiener Staatsballett perform for the opening of the ball.
The highlight of the evening is the entrance of the debutants – the 360 young men and women, who are fortunate enough to be chosen from the numerous applicants. Afterwards the dance master invites everyone to the dance floor with the famous words of Strauss: “Alles Walzer!” Traditionally at midnight and at 3 a.m. a quadrille is danced. The ball ends at 5 a.m. Although this is not allowed, the last guests take flowers from the decorations as a keepsake.
History of the building
Built between 1861 and 1869 by the architects August Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, the opera house was initially not very popular both with the Viennese public. The sensitive van der Nüll committed suicide, and barely ten weeks later Sicardsburg suffered a fatal heart attack. Neither lived to see the opening the opera house.
On 25 May 1869 the Vienna Opera was opened with Mozart's Don Giovanni. Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) were present.
During WW II the Vienna opera was bombed. The building burnt for two days. The auditorium and the stage, as well as almost the entire decor and around 150,000 costumes, were destroyed by the flames. After the war the opera house exterior was rebuild as it had been.
On Novermber 5, 1955, the Vienna Opera was re-opened with Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven, conducted by Karl Böhm.
The 40 min. guided tour of the Vienna State Opera includes the entrance foyer, main staircase, Marble Hall, Tea Salon, Schwind Foyer, Gustav Mahler Hall, and the auditorium. You will learn interesting facts about the Vienna State Opera, the history of the company, the architecture of the building and opera business. The guided tours are offered in 8 languages.
Standing Room Tickets
Sale of these tickets starts 80 min before curtain time. Tickets can be purchased at the special standing room box office only (entrance is in the Operngasse). For sold-out performances there are usually long queues, fans wait for many hours before the box office opens. Please note, that each person can purchase 2 standing tickets only.