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Staatsoper

In May 1869, when Vienna’s State Opera House opened to the strains of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, music lovers rejoiced that it would no longer be necessary to travel to Paris in order to hear good opera. Built in Neo-Renaissance style, the Opera House initially failed to impress the Viennese. The distressed interior designer, Eduard van der Null, committed suicide, and two months later, the architect, August Sicard von Sicardsburg, also died. Yet, when the opera was hit by an allied bomb in 1945, the event was seen as a symbolic blow to the city. With a new state-of-the-art auditorium and stage, the Opera House eventually reopened on 5 November 1955 with a performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio. Its illustrious directors have included Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Herbert von Karajan. Each year, on the last Thursday of Carnival, the stage is extended to create a vast dance floor for the Vienna Opera Ball. This prestigious high-society event opens when Vienna’s youth — wellto- do girls clad in white and their smartly dressed escorts — take to the floor.

Staatsoper Photo Gallery

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