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 2017 (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 2017, international fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld designed the tiara for the debutantes. Weeks before the opera ball takes place, Austrian media break the news of key celebrities taking place and which dresses they will wear. Applying debutants will have undergone rigorous selection: the jury only accepts those with the best Vienna waltz dancing skills, including impeccable left waltz.
The Ball Programme
Around 300 young debutants in white ball gowns and tuxedos kick off the event. They promenade into the ball arena and waltz off into the evening.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, lead by a top conductor, provides the music. 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 will know that you are allowed to enter the dance floor. The ball programme usually includes various interludes featuring top sopranos and ballet dancers.
The traditional quadrille dancing takes places three times during the evening: at midnight and 4am (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. The Austrian president of state and other top ranking politicians are regulars, alongside (international) business people, former Bond girls, actors and common beauty queens. They usually reside in the best boxes, from where they watch the waltz dancing crowd in the main area – and the dozens of TV cameras observing them from the opposite boxes.
Will you get insight into Viennese ball culture? The Vienna Opera Ball is our social business card and therefore an impeccably run top notch event. Ball traditions celebrated are similar to those of the best Vienna balls, you’ll just get more media and celebrities.
How To Get Tickets For the Vienna Opera Ball
Next Opera Ball Date: 23rd February 2017;
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 290. Additional table and box tickets for various categories range from EUR 200 (two people sharing table in 6th floor; a table for four costs EUR 800) to a whopping EUR 20,500 (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.