Vienna State Opera

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Boomsie on May 10, 2002

To make this trip to Vienna special, we decided to see an Opera. What a nice surprise to find Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) would be playing while we were there. I ordered the tickets by phone one month before the performance and we got 3rd row orchestra seats. Cost per ticket was 178 Euros. I assumed the performance would be a traditional one. I was wrong. We arrived 30 minutes early to pick up our tickets at the box office. Those with preordered tickets in one line--simply give the man your name and you get the tickets. Didn't need the confirmation number they told me to bring. The other line was for people buying tickets. Above the ticket window was a chart giving info on available tickets and prices for each. Not many seats left. Found the Garderobe (coat check) and went to our seats. Attached to the back of the seat in front of you is an LCD display which will give the translation of what is being sung. You can see it in German, French, English and probably other languages. So, the house lights go down, the conductor comes out and the orchestra begins the overture. I was excited. The curtain went up and the leading tenor comes out all in white. White t-shirt, white baggy pants that went half-way between his knees and ankles, white socks and tennis shoes. The set was two big black squares looking all askew. Yikes, where was I? The music was right, but this was no traditional Magic Flute. During the first act, I got warm and still having a touch of jet lag, nodded off several times. I didn't like the opera. Neither did hubby. After enduring an hour of this came the welcome intermission. I said that as far as I was concerned, we could leave. Hubby said we should go out, get some fresh air and talk about it. My husband is, well...frugal, yeah that's the right word. Frugal. He didn't want to leave because we paid so much for the tickets. But after sitting outside in the cool wind for 10 minutes, we were revived enough to attempt the 2nd Act. For some reason, perhaps because the music in the 2nd Act is more lyrical and the story gets better, I didn't nod off and enjoyed myself. I was happy we stayed afterall.

There were people in all manner of dress, even jeans. No one really seemed to care how people were dressed. The restrooms were the same as in any opera house I've ever been to--too few stalls for the women and a long line snaking out the door. Give a 20-50 cents to the lady who opens the door to your stall.

The retrieving of the coats at the Garderobe went smoothly and we walked across the street to the Hotel Sacher, where we had made dinner reservations. The Staatsoper has a great website, which can be viewed at:

Opernring 2
Vienna, Austria, A-1010
+43 1 514 44 2969

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