Tuesday 17 April 2012

O is for Opera (Vienna)

The Vienna State Opera is one the most famous Opera houses in the world. It is located in the centre of Vienna. It was built between 1821 to 1869 in Neo-Renaissance style but  later towards the end of the World War II, was partially destroyed . It was restored according to the original plans and reopened  again in 1955 seating more than 2200. There is a sad incident surrounding the two architects who did the plans:
 Eduard van der NĂ¼ll and August Sicard von Sicardsburg were the architects. Eduard van der Null committed suicide after the building was severely criticized by the citizens. August Sicard died thereafter.


Tours are arranged for anyone who would like to visit the interior.

During a perfomance, the prices are quite costly, but worth it. Then there is the Standing option.

"Standing place only" audience

Immediately before each performance, cheap, standing place tickets are sold. These are popular with all age groups, and now have an almost legendary regular clientele, which allegedly is merciless in showing its displeasure with a performance loudly and unambiguously, but is even louder in voicing approval.

The Vienna Opera Ball is an event which is held annually at the Vienna State Opera on Thursday before Ash Wednesday. This is the highlight of the carnival season. This event was first introduced in 1935 and has been a tradition since then. The dressing, soft lighting chandelier, the expanse hall gives it an almost fairytale feel about it. Of course and many many many people. Well, if on can cough 250 euros, it is well worth the experience. And if one is feeling really generous, (moneywise) there is the table option where the view is perfection itself, and so is the fee. About 8500 Euros to 17000 Euros :O

This is the processon of the ball debutantes. Now, to become one of the debutante and participate in the ball, one has to register and audition. And learning/having the knowledge of  the Viennese Waltz  is a must. Secondly, one needs to have a suitable partner. Dress code: for the ladies a white floor-length  gown, tiara and a small bouquet. For the gents, white ties and tails.


 A while back I attempted Viennese Waltz was in a dance class. My dance parnter was taller than I was much taller and in a hurry to prove his dance prowess. By the time we were getting to the swing of it, I was practically flying in the air. (I'm about 5ft 3'') Nevertheless, we attended the ball (not the state ball), but didn't waltz. After that I made a note to self: In waltzing, a suitable partner is really advisable. After that I understood the reason the debutantes need a partner who is not only suave, but also a leader when it comes to dancing.