Vienna State Opera will reopen with only 100 guests per show

Guests watch the opening ceremony at the annual "Vienna Opera Ball" at the Vienna State Opera.
Guests watch the opening ceremony at the annual "Vienna Opera Ball" at the Vienna State Opera.
Jan Pitman/Getty Images
  • The Vienna State Opera in Vienna, Austria will next week reopen its doors for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The amount of guests that will be able to attend performances from next Monday will be limited to only 100.
  • Each month the amount of audience members allowed to attend performances in the 1709-seat opera house will double.

The renowned Vienna State Opera will re-open its doors from next Monday - with 100 guests per show in line with anti-coronavirus government guidelines, the opera house announced this week. 

A total of 14 concerts will be held this month for up to 100 spectators each. All will be streamed live free of charge, the 1 709-seat opera house said.

The first performance next Monday will be a recital by Austrian operatic bass Guenther Groissboeck for 100 euros ($110) per ticket.

This will be followed by more recitals and other concerts, including a chamber music performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on 10 June.

Large-scale opera performances are only scheduled to restart in September.

Classical concerts will also resume in Vienna's famous Musikverein and Konzerthaus for limited audiences from Friday.

Concert houses were forced to shut their doors in March as part of the lockdown introduced to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

As part of the gradual easing of the lockdown, Austria has allowed events for up to 100 spectators since the end of May.

Vienna Opera house is illuminated, on February 15,
An outside view of the Vienna Opera house in Vienna, Austria. (Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

A maximum of 250 spectators for indoor performances will be allowed from 1 July, while from 1 August this will increase to 500 people, the government has announced.

Larger scale indoor events of up to 1 000 people will also be allowed from 1 August, provided organisers devise safety measures that meet the government's approval.

Outdoor events can accomodate more spectators, though numbers are also capped.

The Vienna State Opera usually hosts 350 performances for some 600 000 spectators per season, generating some 131 000 euros daily in revenue from ticket sales.

Dominique Meyer, who hands over his job as director of the opera house to Bogdan Roscic this month, told AFP in April that the silencing of the state opera halls was "emotionally very trying".

The opera and other concert venues have asked the government for more support to make up for lost revenues due to the shutdown.

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