Vienna State Opera
Enjoy a night at the opera in one of Vienna's most beautiful buildings. Regarded one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, it is just as impressive inside as on the outside. Built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect Josef Hlávka and completed in 1869, the Opera was set alight during WWII and had to be restored following the war. Today the Vienna State Opera sits on Ringstrasse in pristine condition; its ornate rounded windows and intricate roofing lighting up like a golden treasure chest in the night. Inside, the red rows of seating seem to almost disappear into the heavens.
Experience an opera performed live by one of the world's busiest and most famous opera companies. Every season, there are 350 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets. Witness world-class artists playing pieces from Mozart to Tchaikovsky, alongside the permanent ensemble members and conductors. These are accompanied by a unique and talented orchestra, who also make up the Vienna Philharmonic. Once a year, the Opera turns into an elegant and stylish ballroom for the Vienna Opera Ball: a glamorous gala. Around 5,000 visitors dance into the small hours of the morning, including international celebrities from the world of culture, business, politics, academia, and sports, making the ball a key event in the social calendar. Visitors can waltz through the opera building and take in the stunning floral decorations, ladies in elaborate gowns, and gentlemen in elegant tailcoats at this unforgettable annual event. In 2013, Wiener Staatsoper live at home was launched, allowing opera and ballet lovers all over the world to follow the performances of the Wiener Staatsoper on their digital devices.
19th century gem
The structure of the opera house was planned by the Viennese architect August Sicard von Sicardsburg, while the inside was designed by interior decorator Eduard van der Nüll. Other major artists such as Moritz von Schwind, who painted the frescoes in the foyer, and the famous "Zauberflöten" ("Magic Flute") series of frescoes on the veranda, contributed to its incredible design. Neither of the architects survived to see the opening of the Opera, and it was Czech architect Josef Hlávka who oversaw the construction, which was completed in 1869.
Vienna's performing arts hub
The State Opera was opened with Mozart's Don Juan in the presence of the Emperor and Empress. Its popularity grew through the years, with Gustav Mahler's direction bringing a new approach to performances. The Second World War was a devastating time for the Opera House, with many members driven out and killed, while certain works were banned. The building itself was severely damaged by bombing. For ten years after the war, the building was painstakingly restored, with a new auditorium and modernized technology. Now, the Vienna State Opera is considered one of the most important opera houses with an enormous repertoire, and one not to be missed when visiting Vienna.