The highlight of the ball season

Vienna Opera Ball

The Vienna Opera Ball is the highlight of the Austrian ball season and is considered a benchmark for balls all over the world. Once a year, the Vienna State Opera invites guests to celebrate the Viennese ball season with music and dancing throughout the house, bringing international guests from the worlds of culture, politics, business, science and entertainment, as well as family members of various royal houses to Vienna.

All waltzes
In February, on the last Thursday before the end of the carnival season, the Vienna State Opera is transformed for one evening into the most elegant and stylish ballroom in the city. Opulent floral decorations, magnificent gowns and a lavish opening with international stars from opera and ballet make the Opera Ball an unforgettable experience year after year, watched live on television by millions of viewers.


The Night of Nights

The history of the Opera Ball dates back to 1814/15 when the artists of the Court Opera organised dance evenings in the wake of the Congress of Vienna. It was not until 1877 that the Opera Ball first took place at its present location as the Court Opera Soirée and later as the Redoute. The Vienna Opera Ball as we know it today was first held in 1935 and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2017.

For the Night of Nights at the Vienna State Opera, the entire house is opened up from the basement to the attic and is walkable, or rather danceable, for all 5,150 guests. An additional floor will be added, forming a flat surface of about 850 m² with the stage, thus uniting the different levels of stalls, orchestra pit and stage into a single dance floor. In the other countless halls and rooms of the Vienna State Opera, restaurants, champagne and oyster bars, a casino and even a disco with a Heurigen will be set up to ensure an unforgettable evening with friends and unexpected encounters.

The Night of Nights

From waltz to quadrille

In addition to the artistic opening of the Opera Ball by the Vienna State Ballet and Vienna State Opera Orchestra as well as international opera stars, 150 debutante couples from all over the world in snow-white evening dress and tails open the Ball of Balls. Making their debut at the Vienna Opera Ball is one of the most important social events of the year for the young ladies’ and young men’s committee and their parents. Only after the debutantes have made their debut the famous “Alles Walzer” is proclaimed to the strains of the Danube Waltz, which invites the guests onto the dance floor and officially opens the Vienna Opera Ball.

When midnight comes, the dance floor fills up and the air literally crackles with tension. The Midnight Quadrille is a must for the ball guests at the Vienna Opera Ball. The choreography, danced to the music of the Bat Quadrille, consists of six parts and although the steps are announced, the motto is “being there is everything”. Those who missed the midnight quadrille will have another opportunity to indulge in the dancing pleasure again at 4 a.m.

Do not wonder

It is a long-standing tradition at the Vienna Opera Ball that the flower decorations are picked apart by the guests at the end of the ball. This way, every guest who stays until the end of the ball can take a piece of Vienna Opera Ball home with them and remember a very special evening for a long time to come.