The city of Vienna in Austria is known all over the world for a lot of things but mostly for its classical music. It isn’t a big surprise, though, as this is the city where the famous composer and musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and made a name for himself through his music.
One of the most renowned institutions in this Austrian capital which has become a preferred venue for musical and theatrical performances is the Vienna State Opera or the Wiener Staatsoper. This opera house was built in the middle of the 19th century and was previously known as the Vienna Court Opera. According to historical records, this structure was the first major building constructed on Wiener Ringstraße. Construction of this majestic opera house took eight years from 1861 to 1869.
Although slightly damaged during the late part of the Second World War, much of the building’s major sections were spared. It was later fully restored to its original grandeur in the same location courtesy of Ernst Kolb and Udo Illig, both restoration experts. Erich Boltenstern also contributed to the restoration design after winning the architectural contest called for by Austrian Federal Chancellor Leopold Figl.
Eventually, the Vienna State Opera produced the Wiener Mozart-Ensemble in 1945 which became well known for its singing and playing of musical instruments. Two years later in 1947, the ensemble was already performing as guest at London’s Royal Opera House. Today, the Vienna Philharmonic normally recruits new members from the Vienna State Opera’s orchestra.
In terms of performances, the Vienna Opera House is one of the world’s busiest today. Each year, it produces from 50 to 60 operas involving 200 performances. In addition, a performance is scheduled almost every day for 10 months of each year. Approximately a thousand people are currently working for the opera house and half of the budget for the building’s operation is subsidized by the government.