Opera in Vienna, Prague OR Budapest?

Nov 14th, 2013, 10:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Opera in Vienna, Prague OR Budapest?

I have read that experiencing the opera when I'm in Vienna is a MUST. However, sadly there is only a ballet on the dates I am in Vienna. I will be in Prague and Budapest as well, and was wondering if there would be any difference watching an opera in Prague or Budapest as compared to Vienna? I am not much of an opera fan (never been exposed to it before) but I want to experience it as part of the culture there.

I am more interested in the experience at the theatre than the opera itself. A little checking has shown that there will be Madame Butterfly when I am in Budapest, which is a good opera for 'beginners' or so I've read.

Any advice on whether I should go for the Prague/Budapest operas or forego opera completely if I can't go for the one in Vienna?

And if Budapest is a go, are there standing room tickets like the one in Vienna (where tickets are released 90 mins before curtain call and people queue at the venue)? Cause it looks like the Madame Butterfly show I'm eyeing is running out of online tickets.
steffleupagus is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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We saw an opera in Prague and loved it. Very professional company, beautiful jewel box of an opera house (Prague State Opera) and very reasonable tickets. We booked dinner and the opera through this site http://www.pragueexperience.com/plac...aceID=625&S=OD to see Mozart's Magic Flute, and were a little apprehensive as the package was around $50 each, but it turned out to be a great experience--tickets in the the first row (which is separated by the orchestra pit so you could see everything), good dinner beforehand, and a car to take us to the restaurant, to the theatre, and back to the hotel.

We tried to get tickets in Vienna, but all sold out except for standing room, and standing for three or more hours is not my idea of fun anymore. Vienna Opera is one of the world's best and it's hard to get tix.

So don't hesitate to see an opera in Prague if you have a chance. Can't speak to Budapest as we haven't been there.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 11:02 AM
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In general cheaper and easier to get tickets for opera in Prague or Budapest compared to Vienna. The atmosphere in the opera houses is great - you'll not forget it.
Gordon_R is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 11:10 AM
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Why not go to one in each city - ballet in Vienna, but opera in the others? What a cultural experience.
flygirl is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Ithhas been a few years but I remember that we easily got tickets for the
Opera in Prague.It was wonderful!
wanttogo is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Saw ballet in Budapest..Rudolph Neryev (sp?)Gala..sort of an olympic recital of the National winners. Outstanding..Saw Midsummernights Dream another ballet (National Ballet Company and Anna Karinna (again sp?) All on Opera House and they were. The Opera House is lovely. Vienna O.H. IME is more beautiful but that is not to take away anything from Budapest. We had a box to ourselves and it was CHEAP!!! Also sat for the gala in nosebleed heaven with students and that was an experience. They were dressed in everything from jeans to gowns and tuxes. Main floor for M.D. and that was also just fine. Only visited V. and P. but that too was well worth it. Don't miss this experience. Madame B. should be pretty awesome. I think we got our tickets at the O.H. by the side door on Vaci Ut. We just walked up. Don't know what the deal is now as that was a couple of years ago. I wonder if you can do better that 50/60E if you contact your hotel concierge? worth a try!!
amer_can is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 02:36 PM
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The Hungarian state opera house in Budapest is a vast and glamorous theatre with a heavy schedule of performances. Wikipedia has a nice photo appreciation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Opera
Prices are economical by North American standards. A performance of Madame Butterfly this month offers a top seat at $65 while nosebleed territory is $7.
Information and sales at: http://www.opera.hu/en
A reminder that the modern subtitles will be in the Hungarian language so reading up on plots back home may be helpful.
Southam is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 03:21 PM
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Southam yes very econ. by No. Am. standards and so worth it. If the "top seat " is in a box that would be the ultimate evening and one to remember for a long long time.Steffi..don't pass this up!!!
amer_can is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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Got tickets to see opera at Vienna opera house on the same day--standing room tickets for 5 euros! Just line up early...and be prepared to be standing for a loong time. But it was a great experience to visit the actual Opera House.
cometstar is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 08:17 PM
Original Poster
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Thanks for the insights everyone! I am pretty convinced on the Hungarian Opera, but there are a few venues. Any specific one I should go for? And do they do standing room tickets or offline sales?
steffleupagus is offline  
Nov 14th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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One small complication might be language. Most proper opera houses perform in the original language, with surtitles these days over the stage.

My last experience in Budapest was that the surtitles (for Wagner) were in Hungarian. Even my German made listening to the words more comprehensible.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 15th, 2013, 02:02 AM
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Opera in Prague is simply awesome and lovable. I went to it last year and enjoyed a lot.
MellisaTurner is offline  
Nov 15th, 2013, 05:08 AM
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I would choose Budapest and Madame Butterfly. If you are familiar with the story, I don't think language is a problem. And "One Fine Day" is considered one of the most beautiful and moving arias ever written.
trotters is offline  
Nov 15th, 2013, 06:11 AM
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Butterfly would be very good for a beginner. There are very few sets so that seating would not be too much of a concern, it's a very easy opera to understand (you could read a synopsis before-hand on-line), and it has many beautiful arias. The downside is that it is very sad. If it were in Budapest next year when I am there, i'D GO.

Peter_krynicki is offline  
Nov 15th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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Checked the Budapest opera website. It appears there are no performances in July when I'll be there. Are the down in Prague as well?
mattian is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Looks like there are none. Opera season is generally October to April or May.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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I don't even like opera very well, although I love ballet, so would go in Prague. They are very very good, anyway, but a lot cheaper. They are really into opera in Prague, as well as Vienna. All of Prague's opera theaters are beautiful. Or Budapest, but I know Prague is particularly interested in opera. I don't see why one would have to go to the opera in a particular theater instead of something else if the point was to see the theater. It's not like Prague has a bad opera company, but if you aren't even that interested in the opera, then it really doesn't make sense to care whether it is opera or ballet.
Christina is offline  

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