Vienna, Austria: Opera

Vienna, Austria: Opera


EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME
OR MONEY FOR A PERFORMANCE, A VISIT TO THE OPERA
IS A MUST. THE VIENNA STATE OPERA HOUSE, BUILT IN THE 1860s,
IS THE PRIDE OF THE CITY. HERE IN THE GRAND ENTRY HALL,
IT’S EASY TO IMAGINE AN AGE WHEN OPERA WAS AS POPULAR
AS MOVIES ARE TODAY. PICTURE WHITE-GLOVED DANDIES
WITH THEIR DATES. TOURS ARE OFFERED DAILY. Woman: WE’RE STANDING NOW
IN A VERY ELEGANT INTERMISSION ROOM,
WHICH TAKES US BACK INTO THE TIME
OF FRANZ JOSEPH. THE AUDITORIUM, ALTOGETHER,
HOLDS 2,200 PLACES. YOU HAVE A FANTASTIC VIEW
FROM YOUR SEATS. YOU HAVE TO IMAGINE
THAT ENTIRE AUDITORIUM WAS DAMAGED
IN WORLD WAR TWO. SO THIS PLACE WAS TERRIBLY
HIT BY THE BOMBS. THE ENTIRE AUDITORIUM BURNED
DOWN, ALSO THE STAGE AREA, SO IT HAD TO BE COMPLETELY
REBUILT AFTER THE WAR. WELL, WE ARE NOW ON ONE OF
THE BIGGEST STAGES IN EUROPE. IT’S POSSIBLE TO COMPARE THE ENTIRE SIZE OF THE STAGE TO THE INTERIOR OF
ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL. Steves: THE VIENNA STATE OPERA,
WITH MUSICIANS PROVIDED BY THE VIENNA PHILHARMONIC
ORCHESTRA IN THE PIT, IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S
TOP OPERA HOUSES, OFFERING 300 PERFORMANCES
A YEAR. WHILE THE ORCHESTRA
AND THE OPERA TAKE THE SUMMER OFF, VIENNA’S MUSIC SCENE
THRIVES YEAR-ROUND. AND MOST SUMMER EVENINGS
IN FRONT OF THE CITY HALL, FREE CONCERTS ARE BROADCAST
ON A GIANT SCREEN. JUST BEFORE THE SHOW, PEOPLE GATHER TO ENJOY
DINNER IN THE PARK. IT’S A LIVELY LOCAL SCENE. SURE,
THERE’S SOME SCHNITZEL, BUT IT’S MOSTLY WORLD FOOD
WITH VIENNA AT PLAY. SINGLES CONSIDER THIS
THE BEST PICK-UP PLACE IN TOWN. THE CITY GOVERNMENT
SUBSIDIZES THE EVENT, BELIEVING EVEN THOSE
JUST LOOKING TO HOOK UP WILL PICK UP AN APPRECIATION
OF A LITTLE HIGH CULTURE AT THE SAME TIME. TONIGHT, 3,000 SEATS ARE FILLED AS PEOPLE WHO COULDN’T MAKE IT
TO THE ORIGINAL PERFORMANCE ENJOY THE VIENNA STATE OPERA
AND ITS ORCHESTRA PERFORM “THE LOVE POTION”
BY DONIZETTI FOR FREE.

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