State Opera (Staatsoper)

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The building of State Opera (Staatsoper) was built between 1863 and 1869 in neo-romantic style (highly criticized when it was built, so the romantic concept at the last in 1865 had been replaced by the monumental conceptions of the strict style of historicism) and it was one of the first great monuments of the new Ring Boulevard. The building itself closely resembles Italian Renaissance (the first operas were written and performed in Italy during the 16th century). There are two horse riders over the main façade of the loggia. They were created by Ernst Julius Hähnel in 1876 and they are illustrating Harmony and the muse of poetry (Erato). The five bronze statues: Heroism, the Songstress, Fantasy, Thalia and Love (from left to right) which stand on pedestals inside the arched loggia arcade were also designed by Hähnel. The building was partly destroyed during the Second World War and it had to be reconstructed. It was reopened on 5 November 1955.

The State Opera House is situated in the first district of Vienna at the southern end of the Kärntnerstrasse. The building was designed by the architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, neither of whom survived to see its opening. Building’s first name was The Royal-Imperial Court Opera Theater. Looking at the building from the Opernring, in other words from the front, the historical part from the original 1869 building is visible. The façade remains in Renaissance arched style and the loggia on the Ringstrasse side underline the public character of the building.

The State Opera House was inaugurated on May 25, 1869 with Mozart's Don Giovanni. Today, it has a world-wide reputation for its first-class opera performances and very famous is also the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. A night at the State Opera is one of the most impressive events any visitor to Vienna can experience. The program of the Opera House changes daily and presents 50 operas and 15 ballets on 300 days of the year. Once a year, the stage and orchestra stalls of the Vienna State Opera turn into a giant dance floor – for the Vienna Opera Ball. More than a hundred debutante couples in long evening dress and tailcoats open the ball in the presence of the Austrian Federal President.
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