A fairytale night at the Vienna Opera Ball
Before I’m starting with my Australia travel diary over here, there’s another amazing event I still owe you the story of. Just before we took off for your holidays, I was invited to attend the Vienna Opera ball together with Vöslauer Mineralwasser, and let me tell you – it was beyond magical!
Once a year, Wiener Staatsoper turns into the world’s most beautiful and elegant ball room for the Vienna Opera Ball: a glamorous gala of unique splendour and allure, the ball of all balls, much-copied around the world.
When it comes to balls, the Vienna Opera ball is definitely THE event of the saison. The beautiful gowns, the flowers, the ballet dancers, the glitz and glam – it’s something that fascinates people all around the world. Every year 5000 visitors dance away in the Wiener Staatsoper and 150 young couples – the so called debutants – are opening the Opera Ball by dancing the first polonaise on the famous ballroom floor.
I remember watching the Opera Ball on TV with my Mom when I was little, and I always dreamed of dancing on that very ballroom floor since then. This year, my little dream came true when Vöslauer invited me to attend the Opera Ball with them. It honestly felt like in a Disney movie: The beautiful interior of the Opera, the luxurious floral decorations, ladies in stunning evening gowns, gentlemen in elegant tailcoats… I felt like I was in a different epoch and was secretly waiting for Sissi and Franz to walk around the corner any minute.
My expectations of the ball however were quite mixed. The media often shows the ball as a rather ridiculous event and tends to make fun of the people attending, picking “worst dressed people of the night” and so on. On TV, you’d also rather see crowds of people pushing through the corridors, and all in all everything seems very hectic. Once I entered the Opera however, my critical expectations were blown away and I was simply astonished by the prevailing beauty of the whole evening. People are dressed at their best and make a huge effort about their appearance. Of course there are exceptions and some people just overshoot the target a bit, but all in all I was very impressed by the elegance of the guests. And regarding the crowds, as long as you don’t try to walk by the main loge where celebrities are interviewed and press is hustling in front, you’ll find it very easy to walk through the pompous corridors of the Opera.
My favorite moment of the evening, after dancing the Waltz with Patrick on the famous dance floor, was watching other people dance. I was quite impressed how many amazing dancers whirled around all night long. At some point we just sat at the side and watched people having the best time dancing. Young couples, elderly people, grandmothers with their grandsons… everyone was simply having fun. It made me very happy to see so many people in such a good mood.
Summing up the whole night I can definitely say that the Vienna Opera Ball is one of a kind and I now truly understand the fascination about it. If you like balls and ever get the chance to go, you should. Just make sure to pack a pair of comfortable shoes, otherwise you’ll end up like me, taking off your high heels in front of the Opera house on your way home. Not so glamorous…
And simply because I am a fan of the world in facts, here are some mind blowing statistics about the Vienna Opera Ball 2017:
- 5,150 ball guests
- approx. 1.46 million TV spectators
- 144 debutant couples
- 171 flower bouquets and 480 floral arrangements
- more than 40,000 glasses
- 1,000 tablecloths
- 4,000 pieces of cutlery
- 600 champagne coolers
- 1,300 bottles of sparkling wine and champagne
- 900 bottles of wine
- 900 bottles of beer
- 2,500 pairs of sausages (with a price of 10€ per pair – I let you do the maths now…)
- 30 hours for converting the opera house into a ball room, 21 hours for dismantling
*facts via Wiener Staatsoper