Monday, 23 November 2015

Vienna State Opera

Back to my summer Europe trip.... The Vienna State Opera was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstraße and was built between 1861 and 1869. The opening opera was Mozart's Don Giovanni performed on May 25 1869. Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elizabeth were present.


Towards the end of WWII in 1945, American bombardment set the building alight. The front section housing the foyer, staircase, vestibule and tearoom was saved, but the auditorium and stage were destroyed by fire, along with the decor and props for more than 120 operas, and about 150,000 theatrical costumes.


The decision was made to rebuild the Opera House in its original style, and an architectural competition was announced. Even though the target date for opening was 1949, the theatre opened in 1955 with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio.


The Weiner Saatsoper stages 50 to 60 operas per year, and ten ballet productions. It is common to find a different opera being produced each day of the week. Over 1000 employees work here. I was able to sit and watch the stage crew change the sets for the opera that was being performed that evening.


Immediately before each performance, standing room tickets are sold at a discount. But I think it would be much nicer to occupy one of these comfy boxes. Total audience capacity is 2,200. I've never been to an opera, so would have liked to go, but as always with these vacation tours, no time!


If you can't get a ticket, the next best thing is to sit outside the Opera and watch the performance on the giant 50 square metre screen. Don Giovanni was playing. The screen was installed in 2009, to bring opera to a new audience who had never experienced it.
I couldn't stay to watch Don Giovanni.... a good reason to return to Vienna one day.

15 comments:

Marie Smith said...

Love your photos. Love Vienna, a beautiful city. We did not see an opera either but did fulfill a lifelong dream of hearing J. Strauss played there. Such culture...a feast for the soul.

Blogoratti said...

What a magnificent place, nice of you to share.

sousca said...

What a beautiful building, I love the ceiling in your first pic. Thank goodness the building was not completely destroyed in 1945 and what an excellent renovation job.

Elephant's Child said...

You have seen, experienced and shared some wonderful places and things. Megathanks.

Lowell said...

What a stunning building/restoration! And your photos are superb. Thank you!

Keith Smith said...

1957. I was in the 'British Army of The Rhine' then, and a busload of soldiers went to Vienna to the Opera House, myself included. The occasion was a Strauss night. It was the first time I had been in the presence of a real orchestra (I was 17 at the time) and I was so impressed. That night changed my life direction forever.

Lowell said...

Greetings! Thanks for your comment on Ocala DP. To answer your question: I'm not sure, but I've seen a lot of live gators, and it would appear this one is "real" but stuffed.

troutbirder said...

We (my students and I) toured the Ringstrasse, palace, museum and opera) oh my some 20 years ago. Fond memories inspired by your photos now....:)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a Fantastic Building. And a different Opera every day of the week....WOW!!! Great photo's, my dear. And how wonderful that they have that big screen outside so people who cannot afford to go--even with Standing-Room----can see and hear these great Operas! What a wonderful trip this was.....!

Tomoko said...

Good morning Shammic,
First of all, I am sorry I mistakenly deleted your comment on my post. Could you back me again and leave a comment? I just read the beginning of your words. I will welcome you to Kyoto!!

Wow, what a gorgeous opera house! Glad that the building allow visitors to take photos inside the building, and Mozart's Don Giovanni was performed here...130years ago!I am impressed.
Have a good day.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wow! What a beautiful building! The Vienna State Opera looks wonderful!
Thanks for sharing all these beautiful pictures. :)

EG CameraGirl said...

Wonderful architecture!

TexWisGirl said...

so grand!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

What a wonderful venue for opera. I'd probably appreciate the architecture more than the music!

Angela said...

The grandeur of the opera house it's spectacular! I love operas but we live in the middle of nowhere and hard to be in such opportunities. Great photos.