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Vienna Opera House

I will be in Vienna next month & would like to attend "Swan Lake" at the Opera House.
Is there a dress code/fancy dress to attend? I know Rick wrote about obtaining SRO tickets, but wondering if casual/jeans is OK to wear? Anyone?

Posted by
58 posts

My husband and I attempted to pick up day of event tickets at the opera house while wearing shorts and were very politely told that we needed to wear nicer clothes. We had intended to change at our nearby hotel after we purchased the tickets, but we couldn't even purchase them. I don't know about jeans, but shorts are definitely a no-go. I am sure if we had done some research like you are we wouldn't even have attempted it.

Posted by
2936 posts

In places like Vienna and Budapest , appropriate attire in Opera and concert venues is an integral part of the culture and it is generally expected that audience members will show respect by dressing in the proper way . Many Americans ( not all ) have a well deserved reputation for , to be blunt , dressing like slobs . Here in NYC , when attending a performance at the Metropolitan Opera , I am appalled to see a substantial portion of the audience dressed in jeans and white sneakers . Having said that , One need not pack along white tie for a performance . For me , packing light on an extended trip is necessary . You don't need to go overboard , but for men a nice pair of dress slacks . a dress shirt and tie , does the trick . My wfe wears a female counterpart , perhaps with a nice scarf or some other appropriate accent . Also , when it comes to shoes , I wear one pair on my trip , but they are of dark shade so that they don't attract attention . I don't think you would be refused admittance to a performance if you wore jeans , but you can abide by the accepted expectations without going overboard . In any event enjoy "Swan Lake " , I'm envious !!

Posted by
10909 posts

Very well stated Steven; and very correct. Thank you.

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I had some other posts below but the didn't add much positive to the subject and inflamed those who disagreed with me. So I pulled them and will end my contribution with this: Since this is all pretty subjective, a tool you might use to help you make up your mind is to go to Google and look for photos of the inside of the Opera House, or which ever of the theaters you are going to, and actually looking at the way the people are dressed.
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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MYgIu6dHZlg/UbJcP9uzCpI/AAAAAAAAGic/xuLjZWC_2YM/s1600/IMG_8775.JPG
http://bucketfullofwords.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/dsc_0250.jpg
http://www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/80-pairs-of-shoes-vienna-opera-house-vienna-interior.jpg
http://yabbedoo.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/opera_the-mariinskytheater.jpg
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Of course I also found this on a tourist ticket website. Why the difference would be supposition:
http://www.mozart.co.at/Vienna-State-Opera-Vienna/
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I have been to the Opera House in Vienna and several other theaters in Western/Central & Eastern Europe.. Me personally without implying anything about anyone else; I think of myself as a guest when traveling and I make every effort to help ensure that I was a welcomed guest. I do that by my standards for my peace of mind and don't judge anyone else.

Posted by
4073 posts

I have been to the Opera numerous times; you see people wearing everything from sweatpants and Uggs to heels and pearls. Just be neat and respectful; jeans won't get you kicked out.

Posted by
2028 posts

If the ticket or ticket booth explicitly states that certain dress is required, then so be it. Like the sign in 7-11 - "shirt and shoes required"
Otherwise, how well you dress is up to you.
After all -you are the one paying to see the performance. Not the audience. And neither are paying to see you.

Posted by
4073 posts

James, "If the sign says it then you should do it."
What sign are you referring to? There is no posted dress code at the Vienna Opera House. Again, jeans won't get you kicked out. You mention local patrons and the like, but these days the opera audience in Vienna is pretty much all tourists. Contrary to popular belief, those of us that live in Vienna don't spend our evenings watching ballet, listening to Opera and admiring Mozart. I know plenty of Viennese who have actually never been nor care to.
How many times have you been to the Opera in Vienna? I have noticed an annoying trend on this website where people talk like experts about places and experiences they have never had. If you have been, my apologies. If you haven't been, then maybe better left for those who have.

Posted by
5455 posts

Hah, I know I was in my jeans back in 1973 when I was in the standing room section in the roof tops to watch Madam Butterfly. :)

Pam

Posted by
527 posts

Having been a chorus member of the Eugen Opera Company (yeah in little Eugene, OR) and an occasional soloist. I never, ever, had any thoughts of people being disrespectful by the way they dressed...the real point is...we are so glad you came and PAID to see the performance. Hence a bigger gate, hence more funding for the next season. I know others in larger opera companies and the thought is the same all over. Let's get over the ridiculous snobbery.

Posted by
527 posts

So if Vienna is not one of your favorite places why bother to comment if your views are shaded by that. If you love Budapest and Hungary give a help there. (:-) No offense, but people who travel light, like myself, may not be able to bring slacks and a jacket. If someone wearing jeans wants to see a performance more power to them...it is all about being able to experience going, seeing, and hearing. I do the best I can when I go but do not feel in the slightest bit embarrassed by not having slacks and a tie/jacket. If the Staatsoper wanted to exclude people for not dressing appropriately the would clearly post a sign, not an inference. I believe that all performers in any opera are just basically glad that people come to see them perform and pay to do so...not only is is gratifying, but it also keeps them and the opera company employed and in funds to continue on.

Posted by
12091 posts

My comment does not have to do with seeing a performance in Vienna's Opera House per se but seeing an opera or a symphonic concert. I recall in the 1970s and 1980s attending performances at the San Francisco Opera House (yes, I know it's not Vienna or Paris) with standing room tickets behind Grand Tier and seeing guests in tennis shoes and jeans, not that often but it did happen. Probably, it was likewise in Eugene.