The beloved Vienna Boys' Choir, known here as the Wiener Sängerknaben, isn't just a set of living "dolls" out of a Walt Disney film (remember the 1962 movie Almost Angels?). Its pedigree is royal, and its professionalism such that the choir regularly appears with the best orchestras around the world. The troupe was founded by Emperor Maximilian I in 1498, but with the demise of the Habsburg
Empire in 1918 it was on its own, subsidizing itself by giving public
performances starting in the 1920s. When the troupe lost its imperial patronage, it traded in court costume for the current charming costumes, then the height of fashion (a look even sported by Donald Duck, who was also born in that era).
From mid–September to late June, the apple-cheeked lads sing mass at 9:15 am Sunday in the Hofburgkapelle. Written requests for seats should be made at least six weeks in advance. Tickets are also sold at ticket agencies and at the box office (open Friday 11–1 and 3–5). General seating costs €7, prime seats in the front of the church nave €35. Standing room is free. Note that only the 10 side-balcony seats allow a view of the choir. On Sunday at 8:45 am any unclaimed tickets are sold. If you miss hearing the choir at a Sunday mass, you may be able to catch them in a more popular program in the Musikverein.