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Splendors of the Vienna State Opera House

The esteemed Vienna State Opera House is one of the world’s greatest opera houses, renowned for its leading performances, intricate architecture, and rich history. The State Opera House, the Staatsoper in German, boasts the largest repertoire worldwide, hosting at least 300 opera and ballet performances per year (Dearsley, 2021). The opera house can seat up to 2,211 eager viewers and over 110 talented musicians, some of which include the esteemed Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Dearsley, 2021).

The State Opera House is home to a musical lineage of over 300 years, with the first-ever Viennese Court Opera performing in 1625 (Dearsley, 2021). Construction on the opera house began in 1861 and took almost 8 years to complete (History of Vienna State Opera, 2010). The opera officially opened to the public in the May of 1869 under the patronage of Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph, and the first opening performance was led by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself (Balint, n.d.). Unfortunately, much of the opera house was destroyed during a World War II bombing in 1945, and reconstruction to its former glory took a decade to complete (Wiener Staatsoper, n.d.). Despite this rough patch in the Staatsoper’s history, Vienna’s beloved opera house has risen to international acclaim over the past century and has hosted history’s most famous opera directors such as Mahler and Strauss (Roller, 2020).

Opera aside, the building’s ornate architecture and breathtaking interior are sights to see for themselves. The opera house was originally constructed in Neo-Renaissance style and designed by the architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll (Wiener Mozart Orchester, n.d.. The elaborate frescos on the veranda and foyer were originally painted by the well-known artist Moritz von Schwind (Wiener Staatsoper, n.d.). At the time of its initial opening, the Vienna State Opera House’s design was surprisingly very unpopular, since it featured a more “austere” exterior rather than the romantic style that was welcomed at the time (Burns, n.d.). Nonetheless, both the exterior and interior of the opera house remain impressive structures of architecture today. Highlights of this exquisite building include the Schwind Foyer which showcases scenes from legendary operas, the elegant Tea Room decorated with silk tapestries, and the mosaic-filled Marble hall constructed of marble from 13 European countries (Burns, n.d.).

Don't miss your chance to attend a performance at this world-class theater on our upcoming European Coastal tour.


Balint, Wilhelm. n.d. “Vienna Opera House.” City Walks, n.d.

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. 2021. "Vienna State Opera." Encyclopedia

Burns, Tracy. n.d. “The Vienna State Opera.” Private Prague Guide, n.d.

Cação, Barbara. 2021. “Vienna State Opera Guide 2021: 5 Must Knows, 3

Good-To-Knows.” Vienna Unwrapped, 2021.

Dearsley, Bryan. 2021. “27 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Vienna.”

Roller, Sarah. 2020. “Vienna State Opera.” History Hit, November 24, 2020.

Wiener Mozart Orchester. n.d. “History of Vienna State Opera.”Wiener Mozart

Wiener Staatsoper. n.d. “History.” Wiener Staatsoper, n.d.

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