We want to introduce you to the pearl of the Austrian capital – the Vienna State Opera (it. Wiener Staatsoper, until 1918 – the Vienna Court Opera) – the largest opera house in Austria, one of the centers of musical culture in Europe, which is famous all over the world.
The Vienna Opera is a center of attraction for music lovers from around the world. The famous theater celebrated its 150th anniversary on May 25 of this year. This anniversary was widely celebrated in the musical circles of Austria and in many countries of the world.
The Vienna State Opera is located in the heart of the Austrian capital, the main pedestrian street of Vienna, Kärntner Straße begins here. Thousands of tourists from all over the world have the opportunity to admire the beauty of this unique building. If you have been to Vienna at least once, then you have bypassed from all sides this unusual building – an example of high architectural art of the late XIX century.
The rich chronicle of the Vienna State Opera is closely connected with the history of the Austrian state, with the history of the Habsburgs and the Austrian Empire, with the history of the creation of the Republic of Austria.
The biography of the Vienna Opera can be divided into periods: until 1938 (opening of the opera), from 1938 to 1945 (closing and destruction) and from November 5, 1955 (restoration) to this day.
Vienna Court Opera originated in the middle of the 18th century. In 1861, construction began on a special building for the Vienna Opera, designed by famous architects of the time, August Zikard von Zikardsburg and Eduard van der Null.
The grand opening of the opera house took place on May 25, 1869 in the presence of the imperial couple Franz Joseph and Elizabeth, on this day the premiere of Mozart’s opera Don Juan took place.
Until 1918, the theater was under the auspices of the Habsburgs and was called the Vienna Court Opera House. In the 1920s, it was unofficially called the state, but it received the official name of the Vienna State Opera (German: Wiener Staatsoper) only in 1938.
During the Second World War, famous Austrian conductors – Kraus, Furtwängler and Böhm staged works of Mozart, Beethoven and Verdi in the opera. In 1938, the premiere of the opera “Peace Day” by Richard Strauss, all his operas were staged by 1944.
On September 1, 1944, Goebbels ordered the closure of the Vienna State Opera, and on March 12, 1945, the opera building was destroyed as a result of the American bombardment.
Restoration work continued until 1955, and finally, on November 5, 1955, the theater was reopened by the production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, under the direction of renowned Austrian conductor Karl Böhm. At that time, the centuries-old tradition of holding annual Vienna balls at the Vienna Opera was renewed.
Famous musicians, directors and, especially in the second half of the 20th century, professional administrators acted as directors of the Vienna State Opera. According to historical tradition, in addition to administrative functions, they also performed the function of artistic leadership, in particular, determined the repertoire of the theater.
Among the outstanding musicians who headed the Vienna State Opera were Gustav Mahler, Clemens Kraus, world-famous conductors – Herbert von Karajan and Lorin Maazel.
In 1986-91 the music director was conductor Claudio Abbado. in 1991-1992 director was famous singer Eberhard Wechter, in 1992-2010 – John Cholender and music director is Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa. Since September 1, 2010, the duties of the Director of the Vienna Opera have been performed by the Frenchman Dominic Meyer.
The Vienna State Opera hosts the stars of the world’s leading opera houses – La Scala, Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and operas in London, Zurich, Berlin and Munich. These are Veselina Kazarova, Anna Netrebko, Elina Garancha, Aida Garifullina, Edita Gruberova, Angelina Kirchschlager, Placido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, Marcelo Alvarez, Piotr Beskala and many others, who consider it a great honor to perform on the stage of the Vienna Opera.
Its orchestra is the only orchestra in the world whose musicians perform in opera productions every evening.
You can talk a lot about the ballet of the Vienna State Opera, and about its choreographer today – the famous French dance master Manuel Legri. His productions of famous world classics – Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle and productions of modern ballet.
The ballet soloists are the best dancers in Europe and the world, and these are, first of all, Russian dancers, known around the world, soloists of the Bolshoi Theater and the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater from St. Petersburg, who embody the best traditions of Russian classical ballet in modern productions.
Come to Vienna and definitely visit the Vienna State Opera! Get to know its amazing scene, walk through its halls!
Memories will remain with you for many years!
Dr. Neda BERGER, Chairman of the Austrian-Turkmen Society,
Honorary Advisor to Media-Turkmen News Agency