The history of the Vienna Opera Ball

Which important historical event forms the basis of the Vienna balls? Where and when did the first Court Opera Ball take place? Since when has it been called the Vienna Opera Ball? What are the requirements to open it?


The legendary festivals and ball events on the occasion of the Vienna Congress (1814-1815) form the basis of the many balls in Vienna. Since then, people in Vienna have been dancing and celebrating very much during carnival (officially from November 11th to Shrove Tuesday)

With the exception of the revolutionary years in the middle of the 19th century, when nobody felt like dancing, the desire for ball events rose rapidly afterwards. The events at the Paris Opera served as a great example.

However, Emperor Franz Joseph initially prohibited a dance festival in his opera, which was opened in 1869. He feared similar tumultuous scenes as in the Paris Opera. So the first ball took place in the nearby building of the "Society of Friends of Music".

Only years later, namely in 1877, did he give approval for an event in the opera house. At that time it was still called the Court Opera Soirée and it was officially forbidden to dance, which eventually happened after midnight.

The “Vienna Opera Ball” has been taking place under this name since 1935, with interruptions during the war years. Another “Vienna Opera Ball” traditionally takes place in New York.

For the Vienna Opera Ball, in which around 5,000 guests take part, the opera is opened from the basement to the attic. In addition to the ballroom, there are several restaurants, wine taverns, a traditional Viennese coffee house, a disco and, most recently, a tattoo study.

The exclusive and originally preserved tea salon is only reserved for the State Opera artists and special guests during the Opera Ball.


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