Prague State Opera New Year's Gala

Feb 8th, 2008, 03:31 PM
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Prague State Opera New Year's Gala

Has anyone out there ever attended this event? If so, I would be interested in their detailed reactions. Thanks. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 04:38 PM
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Don't know about the one in Prague.

But a neighbor of mine is a music critic and he/his wife did the New Year's Opera Ball in Vienna - and it was super formal - men in tuxes (some tails) and women in full ball gowns with jewelry to match.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:33 AM
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Have not attended myself but my business partners in Prague told me about it. It's by far not as fancy as the one in Vienna. Not the big social event at all. They also said the food was mediocre.
Ingo is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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I have been to both theaters but not to gala performances. Based on my experience, I would easily second Ingo and NYt. In Vienna, a non-gala performance commanded super formal attire, tuxes for men, women in furs, gowns, etc. None of that in Prague.
enroute is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the input thus far. The photos on the web of the Prague event would be misleading in light of your comments; of course, nothing unusual there. Ingo's remark about the food is especially disappointing given the healthy tab they charge. I guess folks take advantage of the completely free bar all night, but I've got a plane to catch the next morning. Oh well, something to ponder. Perhaps there will be more commentary before we decide.

Incidentally, we are aware of the fine event in Vienna at New Year's; we will be there over Christmas, just before Prague. Are you all aware of what happens to the hotel rates over the New Year Holiday? Astronomical!

Thanks much.. Gradyghost
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Feb 10th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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I am glad you mentioned the photos. I loved Prague. Many, many aspects of it. But I found consistently that the interiors of its theaters did not live up to the web photos I had seen. This, and the quality of performances were the only disappointment of my entire trip to Prague.
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Jan 4th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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I initiated this thread early in 2008 when the idea of attending the Opera Gala at the Prague State Opera on New Year's eve was only germinating. As you can see, most of the replies tended toward the negative, so when I committed for the ticket purchase way back then, I was rather unsure of the investment. Having just returned from Prague after attending the Gala, I wanted to resurrect this thread for the benefit of those who may be interested in attending next year.

In a word, the experience on New Year's Eve was the absolute highlight of 3 weeks of varied music experiences in Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. In Salzburg, we attended the final, sold-out Advent Singing concert at the Large Festival Hall and a an afternoon chamber concert at St. Peters. In Vienna, we attended Sunday mass at the Hofburgkapelle to hear the Vienna Boys Choir and the performance of La Boheme at the State Opera House. The best was saved for last.

The Prague Gala begins with a cocktail hour in the rooms adjoining the beautiful concert hall. The free bar is open all night so the champagne flowed early and often. The people in attendance were obviously regulars at the opera and were dressed to the nines, predominantly in formal clothes. At 8:00, the audience takes their seats for the first act of Die Fledermaus. After the first act, a spectacular dinner buffet is served, again in the adjoining rooms. The second act is performed and that is followed by dessert and coffee.

The third and final act is timed to conclude just before midnight. Instead of the curtain being drawn, dozens of tuxedo-clad waiters appear with trays of champagne flutes which are passed along each row of the audience until everyone has a drink in hand. That begins the most joyous music and singing spectacular by cast and audience that I have ever seen. It all starts with Strauss' Redetzky March and closes with a midnight toast by all. The cast members filter into the audience during this phase. Thereafter, there is dancing on the stage until ?????

All in all, the experience was a marvelous cap on a great trip. I recommend it.

Happy New Year. Gradyghost
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Jan 4th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Dear grady,

So glad your trip was wonderful and thanks for sharing!

My family just spent NYE in Prague as well. What a wonderful city. My favorite part was the music. We spent NYE at a restaurant in Mala Strana and there was a roving group including accordion, 2 guitars and a violin. They had the whole place singing with such gusto and passion. We didn't understand the words, but couldn't help joining in. At midnight everyone gathered in one room with their champagne and the singing continued... we left by 1 am but things seemed to be just heating up.

We also enjoyed a classical music performance at the Lobkowicz (sp?) Palace, a Jazzboat cruise, and another night of dinner entertainment in a restaurant. I would go back just for the music. Such fun and such passionate performers and audiences!


gruezi is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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hi grady,

thanks fro posting this follow-up.

we went to the opera in prague and loved it, and I have Vienna in my sights too. [and krakow, if I can get past the web-site!]

we were in Prague jsut before NYE and i too wondered about the NYE party there - sounds as if it woudl be worth every penny.

do you mind giving up the links [for salzburg and Vienna as well, if possible] and telling us what the costs were?

regards, ann

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Jan 4th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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Hello gruezi:

Sounds like you found a great spot for NYE as well. As you know, the State Opera is an easy walk from Wenceslas Square in Nove Mesto; as we were leaving the Opera House, the fireworks (amateur versions, I might add) arising from that area were unbelievable. I think we could learn something about how to party from the folks in CZ. Gradyghost
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Jan 4th, 2009, 06:53 PM
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I've been to all of the opera houses in Prague, and each one is beautiful. The State Theater is the most beautiful, to me, though - and that NYE performance sounds great. I may have to make it a stop, one year. Thanks for the post!
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Jan 5th, 2009, 02:30 AM
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Hello amp:

It appears that Die Fledermaus is the standard for the NYE Gala. It is great for that occasion because of the light-hearted, rather frivolous plot, and , of course, the music. You would enjoy yourself. Gradyghost
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