Rising from the ashes
On 12th March 1945, the opera was severely hit during an air raid and was completely destroyed except for the main walls and large staircase. The building was renovated in 1949 according to designs by Erich Boltenstern, Otto Prossinger and Ceno Kosak. It closely followed the style of the original and cost 260 million Schilling. The grand reopening took place on 5th November 1955 with a performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio" directed by Karl Böhm. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra play here and the State Opera Ballet also preforms its own ballet.
Let the waltz begin!
However, on one night a year the Vienna State Opera is transformed into a large dance floor – for the Vienna Opera Ball. Year after year this festive event, where artists, politicians and entrepreneurs from all over the world meet, is broadcast worldwide by countless television stations. Over a hundred debutante couples open the ball of balls in the State Opera in long evening gowns and tailcoats.