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JoeTro Nov 22nd, 2006 01:48 PM

Vienna opera tickets
I want to buy a standing place ticket to a Vienna opera ... it's my understanding that I can do this 1 hour beforehand at the ticket office? Is this correct?

The problem is I want to go on the date when there is an opening night (I guess a preview). Will this be very high demand? Any tips on how not to get shut out?

Finally, what about attire? I was planning on a collared shirt, sweater and slacks but not a suit or anything. Will I be really underdressed?


WallyKringen Nov 22nd, 2006 02:26 PM

Dress will be fine. Line up early - swing by the day before and talk to them to get a sense of what to expect.

Which opera, btw? Staats or Volks?

franco Nov 22nd, 2006 03:07 PM

There are no previews at the Vienna opera theatres, so this is going to be a true opening night. You should really tell which of the (four) Vienna opera houses, and which premiere - the demand depends on the work, and on the singers, and it differs widely. Normally, however, for an opening night, it won't be sufficient to arrive one hour ahead; that's when the ticket counter opens, but people are standing in line long before; how long, I repeat, depends on the singers and the work, and the opera house, of course...

JoeTro Nov 23rd, 2006 03:10 AM

Thanks for the replies.

It's Arabella at the Staatsoper December 9. You are right ... it is a premiere and not a preview (got my "p" words mixed up)

franco Nov 23rd, 2006 03:35 AM

Ok - Hampson is singing (he'll be terrible, but the Viennese are still loving him), but above all, Welser-Möst is conducting, it's his first Staatsoper premiere ever, and about him, the Viennese public is just crazy (he is Austrian). On the other hand, Arabella is not a work attracting huge crowds, though Strauss has his eager followers in Vienna. All in all, I'd suggest arriving three hours before the performance at the Staatsoper, i.e. at 4 p.m. - you won't get the best possible place (for that, you'd have to come at noon), but certainly a decent one. The entrance to the standing room ticket desk is on the Staatsoper's left side, in a street fittingly called Operngasse, under the Opera's arcades. The waiting public will be allowed to go inside at exactly 4 p.m., if you come a little earlier, the people will still stand in line outside, but even if the line is long, don't worry - there are about 500 standing room tickets, you'll get your place.

JoeTro Nov 27th, 2006 11:41 AM

Thanks for the reply. Three hours before ... yikes! Would really cut into my sightseeing time that day. I honestly didn't realize the demand, and I'm not crazy about opera anyway. Maybe I'll give it a miss or just pop in for a tour?

yk Nov 27th, 2006 11:51 AM


For opening night, I think the lines would be long. The ticket office opens 80 minutes before curtain selling standing room tickets. If you don't want to give up precious sightseeing time, and not crazy about opera, I'd suggest you swing by the opera house after the office opens and see what the line looks like.

Alternatively, some ticket shops in the touristy area do sell opera tickets. We were just in Vienna last week and I remembered seeing 2 such "shops" that sell all sorts of concert tickets, including tix for the Staatsoper. I don't know how much they charge for their "premium service."

111op Nov 27th, 2006 12:22 PM

There could be the option of getting partial view seats when you arrive in Vienna. For the opera I went to in October ("Peter Grimes") I bought a 9 euro (?) box seat.

Of course this will only work if the performance isn't sold out already.

JoeTro Nov 27th, 2006 03:15 PM

Thanks; unfortunately it is already sold out.

111op Nov 27th, 2006 05:15 PM

I'd stop by the tickets office anyway. By the way it's not in the opera house itself. It's on a street nearby.

But I think the box office at Staatsooper does open before curtain (not sure when exactly though).

Otherwise I do agree that you should get in line early for standing room if you want to see it but it sounds like you're not that interested. I was told that people started queuing for a performance of Magic Flute three hours prior. All the tickets were sold.

franco Nov 27th, 2006 06:39 PM

No, please: the ticket office is exactly where I've described it. The "nearby" ticket office you are thinking of, 111op, 1. was for seats only, never for the standing room, and 2. doesn't exist anymore - it used to be where now the new Staatsoper museum is located!

111op Nov 28th, 2006 12:28 AM

I never said that JoeTro should go to that ticket office for standing room.

And the ticket office does exist. I was there on Sunday, Oct. 8, to buy a ticket for Peter Grimes. It's on Operngasse. There're signs at Staatsoper that lead you there. It's a modern office.

Why don't you check at the opera house the next time you are there?

Otherwise, yes, I think that standing room lines form at the opera house.

111op Nov 28th, 2006 12:31 AM

Instead of arguing about this, I went to the Staatsoper website:

I believe I went to office #1.

I guess the box office at the Operahouse does seem to be ope

111op Nov 28th, 2006 12:31 AM

sorry --

does seem to be open. But I was there on a Sunday and it was closed. The one at Operngasse was fine.

franco Nov 28th, 2006 04:08 AM

Ok, 111op, I understand now that you keep talking about tickets for seats, which is useless: there won't be any unsold or uncollected tickets for a premiere - if there happen to be such tickets at all, each desk clerk has his or her patrons for whom s/he is reserving such precious tickets, not the slightest chance for a tourist to get them. So, this whole discussion is totally useless for the moment (the OP having already said he would rather skip the performance than stand in line for the standing room, and seats being unavailable), but I'd nevertheless want to correct everything for the reference of future users who might be misled:
The main ticket desk for seats of which you are thinking, 111op, is not "on a street nearby", but actually across the very same street - as I already told above, the entrance to the standing room ticket desk (inside the Staatsoper) is on Operngasse, where the modern seat ticket desk is to be found as well, just on the other side of the street. The former desk "on a street nearby", for all who remember that one, was on Goethegasse, where now the Staatsoper museum is located. The standing room desk is of course where I've explained it (having spent part of my life in Vienna, I've attended about 450 Staatsoper performances so far, mostly at the stehplatz, so if anybody knows about it, I should be the one), it's not even mentioned on the Staatsoper website, but it's the only possibility to buy standing room tickets. Yes, the counter opens officially 60 minutes before curtain, 80 minutes in reality.

BTilke Nov 28th, 2006 04:18 AM

It is possible to get a ticket for a premiere or other particularly coveted performance while waiting in line...not from the box office, but from someone who pops in to sell a ticket they can't use. I've gotten tickets to several sold out performances that way. It seems to help more that I am attending solo, so only need one ticket, and I don't argue the price (actually, I prefer to pay for a good seat). Has worked for me at the Staatsoper, the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus.

JoeTro Nov 28th, 2006 04:46 AM

Thanks for all of the responses. I think I may try to stop by around say 60-90 minutes before the opera and see what the line is like.

111op Nov 28th, 2006 04:49 AM

Maybe it's a miscommunication issue, franco, but you sound a little obnoxious. I guess I do too in this thread, so we're even.

By the way, I never said which ticket office I was thinking of -- you just assumed that I was thinking of an office that didn't exist.

By the way, if you want to split hairs about it, the opera house has four sides. How'd you know which street we're talking about unless we know which side of the opera house we're talking about?

So, I gave the exact address for the box office I went to -- listed on the website.

I've offered my clarification. You've offered yours. So let's just leave it at that.

Enjoy the opera, if you can make it, JoeTro.

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