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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wiener Staatsoper and Großer Musikvereinsaal

Vienna Opera and Golden Hall
The Vienna Staatsoper - one of the world's great opera houses
I was hoping against hope that there would be an opportunity to add to my 'collection' of great opera houses (which include the Royal Opera House London; the Palais Garnier, Paris; and the Mariinski Theatre, St. Petersburg). My first choice of performance was La Traviata, one of my favourites, which was being performed during my week in Vienna. But, of course, tickets had been sold out weeks before. But thanks to 'local knowledge' I discovered that it was possible to queue for standing tickets on the day of a performance, for only 3.5 Euros! As it turned out, this was one of the best investments I have ever made - the view from the standing area was central and superb! A two-hour wait for the box-office to open seemed a minor inconvenience!

Inside the magnificent Vienna Opera House

The standing area where informality and friendliness prevailed

The cast take their curtain call

The beautiful Krassimira Stoyanova gave a heart-breaking performance as Violetta
It was, for me, a wonderful experience to get to see a performance in the Staatoper. That should have been enough. But surely not the Golden Hall as well? You know, where they have the traditional New Year's Day concerts that are beamed live around the world? Where tickets are normally obtained by ballot? Surely that would be too greedy, even to imagine?

But again, thanks to 'insider information' a seat was found for me in this fantastic concert hall, for a performance of Mozart's flute concerto in D Major, followed by Dvořák's Symphony No. 6 (also in D-Major), played by the Vienna Symphoniker Orchestra, conducted by Yakov Kreizberg, soloist Karl-Heinz-Schűtz. Both works were played to perfection in my humble judgement.

The magnificence of the Golden Hall

The interval - yes, I really was there!

The orchestra and soloist accept their ovation
These were two wonderful occasions, performances I shall never forget. There are other things to do on holiday besides accumulating bird lists!


Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

How fabulous, what a wonderful experience. I don't think I've seen you in a shirt and tie before, you do look smart. Did you have your binoculars with you too?

11:09 pm  
Anonymous May said...

It must have been a wonderful holiday. I am happy for you.

3:50 pm  
Blogger Merisi said...

Vanessa Redgrave was expected at the Musikverein yesterday. The building's rasperry colour took on a golden hue in the late evening's light.

6:32 am  

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