Opera in Vienna

Old Apr 4th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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Opera in Vienna

I am going to be in Vienna in late April/early May. As a huge opera buff, I'd love to catch a performance or two. I looked at the Staatsoper website and they are playing Le Nozze di Figaro (one of my all-time favorites) on the 26th. The only problem is that all the tickets are sold-out. I read somewhere that standing-room tickets go on sale on the day of the performance. If this is true, how early should I be there?

If anybody has any info, I'd love to know about it. Thanks!
Scryde is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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I tried a few years back and it was unable. We were there at the time for the performance but nothing was available. I had planned on being in Vienna for a full week but nothing was available.

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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 11:34 AM
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We got standing room tickets same day, going mid-morning, though it was for a less well known opera than Figaro, maybe that helped. I don't recall exact time we went there; could you contact the opera and find out when the window opens?
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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In addition to finding out what you can about the opera house standing room line process, if you are staying in a hotel, it may be worth asking the concierge. I got Staatsoper standing room tickets once, but it was so long ago I doubt the info is valid anymore. If no one here can help, you might ask on the New York Times opera forum as someone there may have recent experience. Go to and click on "opinion" and navigate to "reader's opinions" then arts forums & opera. Free, but you do register.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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Do you ever post to the Google group (I'm sure there are other opera boards out there, but r.m.o is the only one I know.) It's full of opera fanatics and I'd bet that at least one of them can help with standing room strategy for Vienna.

Good luck getting tickets to Figaro in this big Mozart year.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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I lived in Vienna for three years and attended the Staatoper standing room many times. There was an area at the orchestral level (better sight lines and a bit more expensive), and one way up in the top balcony. The box office used to open at 4pm - but that may have changed. I always tried to get there by 3pm, and had success 80% of the time. E-mail them to get the latest info.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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It is worth a try at the box office when you arrive in Vienna. There might be tickets available. If not, there are a number of legitimate and reliable ticket brokers near the opera house who charge a small commission. The box office can refer you to one. Your hotel concierge might also be able to help. You might try contacting your hotel before you arrive
I was there in late April/early May a few yers ago and got tickets to the opera and the philharmonic at the last minute. And that was after hearing that both were sold out. The Staats opera box office had orchestra and balcony seats available. They said I could get other locations from a broker. My hotel concierge got me a ticket to the Philharmonic - I sat right up on stage.
If you can't get to see Figaro - one of my favorites too - I'd opt for anything you can get, if for no other reason than experiencing that magnificent opera house. Good luck.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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Standing room tickets are sold at the evening box office starting 80 minutes before the performance.
Obviously for popular performances, the earlier you arrive the better.
A custom in the standing room area is to " reserve" your place before the performance by tying a scarf on the railing in front of the area where you wish to stand. Then you are free to walk around the Opera for some minuets.

As posted above, tickets are always available at a premium price from ticket agencies or many times through your desk staff at your hotel
for more information

the State Opera website ( english available)
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Have once each obtained tickets when the box office opened on the day of the performance at the oper house, another
time obtained a pair at the American
Express Office on Kartnerstrasse, of
course with a surcharge, but felt it
was totally worth it at the time...
plus were very lucky to obtain excellant
seating on both occasions.... Richard of LaGrange Park, Il..
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 01:59 PM
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If you are staying at one of the better hotels they can sometimes arrange tickets. Last time the Sacher procured tickets to Gotterdammerung for me at the last minute and the opera was packed.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Our experience in November 2005 was as Molker described. Standing room box office opened at 7 pm for an 8 pm ballet. We lined up at 6:30, but there were many people ahead of us. Still, we got tickets for the top balcony standing room section. We asked some of the people in line ahead of us which section they preferred, and they all said one could hear better from upstairs. We also "scarfed" our two places and then explored the magnificent building prior to the performance.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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I believe non-subscriber tickets to the Staatsopera go on sale exactly one month before the performance date and you log on to the website and try to purchase tickets on that date. On the official website you can register for advanced sales (a kind of waiting list). Just look on the right hand side next to the page describing the opera you want to attend and there should be a link which leads to the form you need to complete to be on the waiting list. Also, if you are willing to spend 25% above face value (this is the going rate at several ticket brokers we checked) there are several ticket brokers who have a limited number of tickets to almost every performance. We are going to be in Vienna in early June and are waiting for the one month date to try to get tickets. If we can't then we'll go the ticket broker route.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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If you aren't wearing a scarve to the opera and wanted to reserve your space, could you tie your t-shirt to the railing instead?
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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We did the standing room thing last summer for a Puccini opera. Don't remember when we arrived but there is a certain procedure, i.e., where to stand outside afterwhich you are moved to another line inside. Then you are ushered in, then can leave some marker such as sweater/scarf as mentioned at your spot along the rail, and depart for a bite to eat or whatever. We found that although one does weary of standing, you are actually quite close to the stage. By this I mean that the auditorium is different from our local performance arts Vienna you have main floor seats without much depth and more to each side and then all those balconies.

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Old May 2nd, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Wanted to update this thread to confirm that at 10:00 a.m. Vienna time exactly 1 month to the day before a performance internet tickets go on sale for the Staatsoper. You log on to the Staatsoper web site, click on the performance you want to attend, click on purchase tickets, it shows you how many seats in each price category are available, and then shows you a seating chart which allows you to select your tickets. If it's a popular opera then logging on at the exact moment they go on sale is the way to go. Sunday night we stayed up till 1 a.m. California time (10:00 in Vienna) and ordered great seats for early June.
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