If one of your life's dreams is to see Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus (The Bat) performed in Vienna, this is the year.
You see, Strauss, who also composed Austria's unofficial national anthem, The Blue Danube, died in 1899, a hundred years ago. This, of course, means a series of concerts, balls, operettas, and exhibitions in 1999 devoted to the Waltz King's memory.
Die Fledermaus, a New Year's Eve-New Year's Day tradition in Vienna for decades, will be performed repeatedly in 1999 by all the city's opera companies. The Vienna Kammeroper alone is offering it almost nightly through February 13. It can also be seen at Theater an der Wien and, naturally, at both the State Opera and the Volksoper.
Strauss's other familiar operettas, such as Der Zigeunerbaron (Gypsy Baron), and Wiener Blut (Viennese Blood), will also be reprised.
Carnival season offers the opportunity to dance to Strauss waltzes at some 300 balls.
Hearing Strauss melodies is not restricted to the prestigious (and rather pricey) Musikverein and Konzerthaus, but also at other venues such as the Kursalon in the Stadtpark where the Strauss family performed in their heyday; at Vienna Boys Choir concerts, and even on Danube cruises.
In addition, all of Strauss's 550 works (printed music and original scores), his organ, baton, paintings of the him, and photos not previously seen in public, will be on display at the "Johann Strauss" exhibition at the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna from 6 May to 26 September. The Theater Museum will also stage a Strauss exhibition from May to October, featuring all his stage works.
Vienna Performance Tickets
TICKET OFFICES for Austrian Federal Theatres (Vienna State Opera, Volksoper, Burgtheater, Akademietheater): österreichischer Bundestheaterverband/Bundestheaterkassen, Hanuschgasse 3, 1010 Vienna, telephone/information: +43/1/51444/2960; Volksoper, Whäringerstrasse 78, 1090 Vienna, telephone: +43/1/51444/3318; Burgtheater, Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 2, 1010 Vienna, tel.: +43/1/51444/2218.
OPENING HOURS: Mon. to Fri.: 8am to 6pm; Sat., Sun. and holidays: 9am to 12 noon; the first Saturday of each month and on Saturdays during Advent: 9am to 5pm.
INFORMATION OFFICE IN THE ARCADES at the Vienna State Opera, Herbert von Karajan-Platz, 1010 Vienna: advance ticket sales and information on the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper. Hours: Monday to Friday: 10am until one hour before the performance starts; Saturday 10am to 12 noon; the first Saturday of each month and on Saturdays during Advent: 10am to 5pm. Closed on Sundays and holidays.
TICKET SALES for the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper normally start one month before the date of the performance (e.g. on September 1st for October 1st, on September 2nd for October 2nd, on September 30th for October 30th and October 31st.) Tickets for performances from September 1st to 30th are sold on the corresponding day from June 1st to June 30th. Ticket sales for Burgtheater and Akademietheater normally start on the 20th of each month for the whole following month (e.g. on August 20th for all the performances in the month of September).
Tickets for standing room at the Vienna State Opera, Burgtheater and Akademietheater are sold only at the evening box office. Tickets for standing room at the Volksoper may be booked beforehand from the same day that advance ticket sales start. Evening box offices open one hour before the performance starts.
WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR TICKETS for the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper from other Austrian provinces and from abroad must reach the österreichischer Bundestheaterverband /Bestellbüro (ticket office), Hanuschgasse 3, A-1010 Vienna, no later than three weeks, for Burgtheater and Akademietheater no later than two weeks, before the date of the performance.
TELEPHONE TICKET SALES are available worldwide for credit card holders (American Express, Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard and JCB Card). Phone Vienna +43/1/513 1 513 Monday to Friday: 10am to 6pm, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10am to 12 noon; the first Saturday of each month and on Saturdays during Advent 10am to 5pm. Telephone ticket sales start the day after ticket offices open for reservations.