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music in Vienna?

Hello -
Putting together day to day plans for our trip next month...we are classical music lovers, attend our home symphony regularly, make a special trip to NYC to the Met once a year...I just managed to get decent seats to the National Opera, and am looking for music venues...I know much of the "music" is meant for tourists and may not be what I am looking for, but I'm not sure. If I google "classical music in Vienna" you can imagine what pops up! A glut of choices, but...The Vienna Philharmonic is unfortunately traveling when I will be in town so wanted some advice for other ensembles I should look for. Thanks in advance -
Laura

Posted by
4145 posts

Certainly no shortage of music in Vienna ! See what is on at The Musikverein , even if the Philharmonic is not there . The acoustics are incomparable , so if there is a program that catches your fancy , grab it !

Posted by
2212 posts

Someone recently asked the same question and there was quite a bit of discussion. You might search for that thread...

Posted by
470 posts

I hear and understand your concerns. Before you go, avoid most of what you find on Google searches. Once you are there, those same events will be hawked by people in costumes with wigs walking around the street looking for eager tourists. Nothing wrong with that, but it will not be what you are seeking. Some "real" venues in Vienna would be the Wiener Staatsoper, Volksoper (opera in Vienna must not be missed), Musikverein, Vienna Symphony (different than the Philharmonica) and Theater An Der Wien. It is also possible to make a day trip to Budapest for a concert/opera. Long day, but easy to do.
You will love Vienna! We have been there several times, and your post makes me want to start planning our return trip right now.:)

Posted by
18492 posts

Someone mentioned Budapest so its sort of an invitation for me. The only issue with music in Vienna is that a great deal of it are tourist performances………..good possibly, but still tourist performances. In Budapest you get a real opportunity to participate in a living cultural experience where the tourists are welcome, but not the reason for the event. Bad news, if your visit is next month, then its too late. Hungarians enjoy their cultural events and shows sell out quickly. Sorry.

Hungarian State Opera House: http://www.opera.hu/en/jegyinformacio
Palace of Art: https://www.mupa.hu/
Budapest Operett Theater: http://www.operettszinhaz.hu/

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks everyone...
James, I found out I am too late...I can get seats for Figaro but only during the matinee - which would interrupt our only full day of seeing the sights in Budapest...
I did get tickets at the Volksoper for La Boheme (VERY excited)
And I will probably look around more once we are there to see if anything else sparks our interest!

One related question - how are the restaurants there about dinner service prior to a performance? I know in general european service is more "relaxed" than in the US, but how receptive are they to speeding it up a bit for the theater? Or should I just plan on eating really really early? I don't want to sacrifice my dinning experience for music or vice versa.
Laura

Posted by
18492 posts

I figured it would be too late. I enjoy the Operett a lot and tickets are a little easier to get. When we go to the Operett we generally spring for seats in a box which come with an invitation for a drink and hors d'oeuvres at intermission. They seat you at a table for 6, and each and every time it has been 4 Hungarians and us. The conversations at those intermission have been among the best memories. Real cultural immersion tough to beat anywhere.

Posted by
501 posts

Forget Strauss konzerts and Operetta

if you are able, see something at the Konzerthaus - it is a wonderful art-nouveau hall, the home of the Wiener Symphoniker - a great orchestra. https://konzerthaus.at

The Theater an der Wien is also historic (beethoven lived in the attic): are they producing anything during your stay? (I don't know your dates of travel) They do great work, they produce opera and other events in the way that the Châtelet does in Paris.

Also, check out Concentus Musicus Wien, the early music ensemble.

Posted by
501 posts

PS I would not expect Viennese restaurants to be running a "pre-theater" service - plan accordingly

PPS By "National Opera" i assume/hope you mean "Staatsoper?"

Posted by
6 posts

We are thinking of getting tickets for the Verdi Four Seasons concert at Karlskirche (St. Charles Church). Has anyone been to a concert at this venue? How are the acoustics? Is it mainly for tourists or do locals attend?

Posted by
4145 posts

Donegal , I think a slight mistake on your part -- " The Four Seasons " is piece for string orchestra , solo violin and continuo by Vivaldi ( Italian Baroque ) not Verdi , the nineteenth century Romantic era opera composer . While I have not attended a program at the Karlskirche , it is a magnificent church and it was apparent when visiting that the acoustics will meet the highest expectations . As far as tourists versus locals , if you are asking whether this is a commercially oriented program for tourists , I can't answer , but considering the venue , my guess is that the performance is likely to be of relatively high quality . In NYC there is a cadre of highly qualified free lance musicians who make up the performing core throughout the city . Considering a similar level of free lance players in Vienna , given the importance of fine music in Viennese culture , I doubt the musicians will be of the variety of costumed buskers one encounters on The Graben and around St Stephen's . Given all of that , I don't think it matters who comprises the audience , as long as they are well mannered and attentive .

Posted by
501 posts

Ironically however, there is a Four Seasons by Verdi - it's the ballet music from his opera Vespri Siciliani (Les Vepres Siciliennes)
;)

Posted by
4145 posts

JTraveler , WOW ! It just goes to show, you learn something every day ! I never knew that . Hope t o see you at our next NYC meeting , We will have a lot to talk about , My Best , Steve