A masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) is a hallowed venue for opera fans. Each year, the auditorium hosts 350 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Ballet (Wiener Staatsballett) performances, as well as the Vienna Opera Ball.
Attending a concert at the Vienna State Opera is an unforgettable experience, but tickets sell out quickly so it's imperative to book in advance. Concerts by the Vienna Mozart Orchestra are a popular choice; the performers dress in traditional costumes and most tour packages include a gourmet dinner or Vienna walking tour in addition to the show. Alternatively, you can marvel at the magnificent facade on a sightseeing or hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city, or peek behind the scenes on a guided opera house tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The dress code for concerts is smart evening attire; individuals wearing informal clothing such as short pants or leisurewear may be refused admission. Coats, jackets, and larger bags must be checked into the cloakroom.
- The use of cameras and smartphones is prohibited during performances.
- Children under 5 are not permitted at evening performances, but special matinée concerts for kids are held.
- The Vienna State Opera is wheelchair accessible, but wheelchair seating must be booked in advance.
How to Get There
The Vienna State Opera House is located on the Ring Road (Ringstrasse) in the historic center of Vienna, close to Hapsburg Palace and the Winter Palace of Prince Eugene. The opera house can be reached by public transport—the nearest subway (U-Bahn) station is Karlsplatz and the nearest tram station is Opernring.
When to Get There
Concerts are held year-round, but the main opera season starts in April. Most concerts are held in the evening, but there are also a number of matinées featuring choral groups, children's opera, and chamber music.
The History of the Vienna State Opera
Since opening its doors in 1869 with a gala performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Vienna State Opera has become one of the most famous concert venues in the world, boasting a rich history and extensive repertoire. Past directors have included musical legends such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Herbert von Karajan, Karl Böhm, and Lorin Maazel. Director Dominique Meyer broke new ground by introducing live outdoor events and live streaming performances.