The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) is an
opera house – and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th
century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. It was originally
called the Vienna Court Opera (Wiener Hofoper). In 1920, with the replacement of
the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Republic of Austria, it was renamed the
Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from
The building was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstraße commissioned
by the Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the building in 1861
and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard
von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance
The Wiener Staatsoper is one of the busiest opera houses in the world producing
50 to 60 operas per year and ten ballet productions in approximately 300
performances. It is quite common to find a different opera being produced each
day of a week. As such, the Staatsoper employs over 1000 people.
The Vienna State Opera is particularly open to children: under Holender's
direction (he has three children of his own), the opera house has become well
known for its children's productions, which are performed in a tent on the roof
of the Staatsoper.
"Standing room only" audience: Immediately before each performance, cheap,
standing room 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.