Don Pasquale, Opera by G. Donizetti

Vienna State Opera

The Vienna State Opera is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world and was built in Neo-Renaissance style between 1861 and 1869 to plans drawn up by the architects Eduard van der Nüll and August von Sicardsburg. It was the first building to be erected on Vienna's Ringstrasse, but was not very popular with the public. When the level of the street was subsequently raised by a metre, the Viennese even contemptuously referred to the Opera as a “sunken box.” This hostility, which was shared by Emperor Franz Joseph, drove van der Nüll to commit suicide in early 1868. Two months later von Sicardsburg also died of a heart attack. Thus neither of the architects lived to see the completion of the building.

The Vienna State Opera was opened on 15 May 1869 to enthusiastic applause for a performance of Don Giovanni by W.A. Mozart. After having suffered serious bomb damage toward the end of World War II, the building was reconstructed and reopened on 5 November 1955 with a performance of Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven.

The season at the Vienna State Opera runs from September to June with a programme of opera, operetta, ballet and concerts. In July and August the Vienna Mozart Orchestra plays the most popular pieces by the composer from Salzburg. Each February since 1935 the Opera has hosted the Vienna Opera Ball which draws prominent guests from Austria and abroad, including artists, politicians and celebrities. Past directors of the State Opera have included such notable composers and conductors as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Herbert von Karajan and Lorin Maazel.


Address:

Opernring 2
1010 Vienna

 






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