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Monday, January 31, 2011

Vienna Opera Ball - "Alles Walzer"

The Vienna Opera Ball is definitely the highlight of the Viennese Carneval.
I personally think it's the most prestigious and most beautiful society event of the world!

Many many years ago, I attended the ball myself .... as a teenager.
In some upper-class families it is a form of undisputed duty to be a part of the tradition to open the Opera Ball as a Polonaise-dancer.
Well, I did not .....
2011 the 55th Operaball  will take place on the 3rd of March.
That's unbelievable late, BUT as the carneval is that long, also this date is scheduled that late in calender.

We've posted earlier that the first ball took place in 1935, for charity purposes.

Nowadays it is the biggest celeb-get-together in Austria: politicians, business men, employers, proms, artistsfrom everywhere international and national.
5.500 guests are expected this year, half of it coming from outside Austria!

In case you somehow have been able to get a ticket, you must have paid a fortune:
Prices for the seating in a box range up to 17.000 EUR. Then you need the normal entrance ticket: per person 230 EUR.
In the end the Opera will gain about 1,1 Million EUR for that night only.
It's said, that this is the only profitable night of the year!

After one night of preparation and re-setting of the whole opera, stage and auditorium, decorated with 40.000 flowers, the opera is transferred into the biggest and poshes dancing stage of the world!

The whole opera building is used that night, from cellar up to the attic. There are several restaurants, bars, a disco, a casino and even a heuriger. The caterin is done by the Wiener K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäckerei Gerstner - without interruption since 1869!

The "Entrée" is fitted with a "heated red carpet", so that the guests do not have to shiver and get frozen tiny toes when moving slowly between the pre-entrance and the opera-entrance. As the main stairways is a bit of a bottleneck, it takes ages until all the celebs make their way. Never to forget the paparrazzi!

Each year the Opening of the Ball is choreographed and supervised by a different Austrian dancing school.
This year for the first time ever, it will be a woman, who is in charge for this organisational part, Juanita Hieble, who opened the ball herself in 1987.

160 couples coming from all over the world will have a white gawn, a little crown, some flowers and a black dress coat to fit in the tradition.

The opening ceremony, kind of a Quadrille, is followed by Johann Strauß' Waltz and secret hymn "An der schönen blauen Donau" or Blue Danube Waltz.
This is the moment when you hear the words: "Alles Walzer" "Everyone waltz" - and the ball is officially opened!
At midnight there is again a midnights-Quadrille and 5am spot on the ball is over after the orchestra played these 3 "hits":

-  Blue Danube Waltz,
-  Radetzkymarsch
-  "Brüderlein fein" from the play "Der Bauer als Millionär" (Ferdinand Raimund -1826)

Brüderlein fein, Brüderlein fein,
Mußt mir ja nicht böse sein;
Brüderlein fein, Brüderlein fein,
Mußt nicht böse sein.
Scheint die Sonne noch so schön,
Einmal muß sie untergehn.
Brüderlein fein, Brüderlein fein,
Mußt nicht traurig sein.

Tradition has is, that the last guests take the flowers with them .... as a memory!

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