The Vienna Opera Ball is our social business card. We use this soft power tool to celebrate Vienna’s joyful lifestyle, and to attract celebrities from all over the world. The Wiener Opernball is Austria’s largest meeting point for art celebrities, entrepreneurs and politicians. Here is a guide of what to expect and how to get tickets for the Vienna Opera Ball 2019 (even when sold out).
The Vienna Opera Ball In Brief
Vienna’s ball culture has its roots in the Congress of Vienna of 1814/15. The Vienna Opera Ball started in 1877. It took Emperor Francis Joseph eight years to finally allow a dancing event to take place in ‘his’ theater.
The Vienna Opera Ball usually takes place on the last Thursday of the carnival season, from 7pm to 5am. Each year, some 5.500 guests attend. Renown designers are regularly involved in running the show: For 2019, international fashion icon Donatella Versace designed the tiara for the debutantes.
A few weeks before the opera ball takes place, Austrian media break the news of key celebrities taking place and which dresses they will wear. In the run up to the event, the Opera Ball committee and its jury also select the ball debutants: only those with the best Vienna waltz dancing skills make it, including impeccable left waltz.
The Ball Programme
To kick off the Opera ball, around 300 young debutants in white ball gowns and tuxedos promenade into the ball arena and waltz off into the evening.
If you love top classical music you will be pleased that the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, lead by a top conductor, provides the music to Opernball. After the debutants have finished, the master of ceremony announces: Alles Walzer! (All waltz!). When you hear this and Johann Strauss’ waltz music ‘On The Beautiful Blue Danube’, you know that you are allowed to enter the dance floor. Throughout the night you will see various interludes featuring top sopranos and ballet dancers. Not least for this reason the Opernball is also popular with not-that-keen dancers.
The traditional quadrille dancing takes places three times during the evening: at midnight and 4.00am (Fledermaus quadrille by Johann Strauss) and at 2am (Orpheus quadrille by Johann Strauss). When you hear the Fledermaus quadrille, it’s time to start packing your things…
Will you see celebrities? Definitely. Among the ball regulars you will find the Austrian President of State and other top ranking politicians, alongside business people from all over the world, former Bond girls, actors and beauty queens. Almost ritually, they would reside in the top boxes, from where they watch the waltz dancing crowd in the main area – while dozens of TV cameras film them from the opposite boxes.
What kind of insight will you get into Viennese ball culture? Surely the Vienna Opera Ball is one of our top ‘social business cards’, and therefore an impeccably run top notch event. Whereas ball traditions are similar to those of other Vienna balls, you’ll just get more media and celebrities.
How To Get Tickets For the Vienna Opera Ball
You can order tickets for the Vienna Opera Ball 2018 from the Vienna State Opera by emailing reservierungen(at)opernball.at. If tickets are sold out, try this trusted seller of Opera Ball tickets.
Next Opera Ball Date: 28th February 2019;
Dress code: Ladies: long evening gown (pick an outstanding one if you want to get on TV); Gentlemen: tailcoat (compulsory)
Official prices: The ordinary entrance fee is EUR 315. Additional table and box tickets for various categories range from EUR 210 (two people sharing table in 6th floor; a table for four costs EUR 840) to a whopping EUR 23,600 (double stage boxes or side levels boxes).
Make sure you secure a hotel room as soon as you get your Vienna Opera Ball tickets confirmed. Travellers love the carnival season in Vienna and snap up the best places months in advance. Here are some of the best hotels within a mile of the Vienna State Opera.