Once again this year, the Vienna State Opera is hosting the Ball of Balls.

Once again this year, the Vienna State Opera is hosting the Ball of Balls.
© Shutterstock

Opera Ball 2024: A guide to the perfect ball evening

From the culinary offerings to the "Beauty to go" area and the popular tailoring workshop: It's not easy to keep track of everything in the redesigned opera house. Falstaff provides a remedy and guides you from one highlight to the next in clear graphics.

Just under 48 hours. That's all the time the team at the Vienna State Opera has to transform the venerable building into one of the most magnificent ballrooms in the country. In addition to around 100 truckloads, a lot of hands are needed: in addition to around 250 opera employees, the same number of workers from external companies are on the road in the two days between the last opera performance and the admission of the ball guests. They ensure that the State Opera is barely recognisable in many places on the evening of the ball.

Much of the conversion work requires expertise and precision - such as the construction of the 66 box elements that do not exist in normal theatre operations. They are only set up for the ball. During the year they are stored in nearby Lower Austria, then they are brought to Vienna's city center by flatbed truck and set up in the opera house. The boxes are built in three-story towers - each of the structural elements is eight meters high - and then assembled next to each other. To ensure that the construction is stable, the log towers must be fitted with millimeter precision. Incidentally, the fact that the top row of boxes is particularly popular is not only due to the great overview you can get from here. It is open at the top and, when the temperatures in the opera house rise, it is cooler and more airy.

© Katrin Kanzian

A dance floor is created

The dance floor is also transformed shortly before the opening: this is actually the auditorium of the opera. As soon as all the chairs have been removed, a levelling floor will be constructed to level the area and bring it up to stage level. Only then can the parquet be laid. There is also plenty to explore away from the ballroom including some new features: a club with a live DJ will once again be set up in the basement, while the Radio Wien disco awaits in the gallery. The former "Crystal Bar" in the checkroom area on the first floor gets a new design, a new concept - and a new name: "The number one Vienna". A wallpaper with motifs from the opera was even designed especially for them.

Lancôme will be hosting a photocall, and in addition to the "Beauty to go" area (with make-up artist Alma Milic and the Steinmetz-Bundy private salon) there will be the tried-and-tested Popp & Kretschmer tailoring workshop and, for the first time, a Dyson "Self Service" station where curls can be re-twisted and hair straightened. The large Falstaff illustration on the following pages, which lists all the culinary and service areas, will help you keep track of the many highlights in the labyrinthine opera house.

First floor

© Katrin Kanzian

1: Feststiege: The Feststiege of the Vienna State Opera plays a central role at the "Ball of Balls". The red carpet is rolled out here, as we know it from television. The remaining carpets remain in the familiar green for the Opera Ball.

2: "The Number One Vienna" hosted by Eden Bar: Where the "Crystal Bar" used to be located, the "Eden Bar" is now the new gastronomy partner of the Vienna Opera Ball - in its usual sparkling style.

3: Sausage stand: Why leave the opera house when there is an original Viennese sausage stand in the opera house?

4: "Sweet curve" with "Ströck": In the "sweet curve", "Ströck" comes up with the popular miniature doughnuts from patissier Pierre Reboul.

5: Gerstner Foyer: "Gerstner" focuses on the ball guests' favourites, including the well-known opera ball sausages, sandwiches and goulash soup.

6: "Sweet curve" with "Eis-Greissler" : Fruity and natural ice cream creations of local origin are on offer at the ice cream stand of the "Eis-Greissler" team.

7: Beauty to go: The "first aid station" for make-up and hair is set up in the conductor's room until 3 a.m. This area is hosted by Alma Milcic and Steinmetz-Bundy Privatsalon. Make-up is applied with products from Lancôme.

8: Opera foyer: The box office area becomes a lounge at the Opera Ball.

Ballroom level

© Katrin Kanzian

1st ballroom: Usually the audience area - without chairs and with specially laid parquet flooring, it becomes a dance hall.

2nd side stage: The side stage with its many seating options has a new design this year - it is now dominated by red velvet.

3. backstage: The team from the "Ströck-Feierabend" bakeries and restaurants perform on the rustic-style backstage.

4. floral decorations: As in 2023, "Doll's Blumen Wien" is responsible for the floral decorations, which are in warm shades of pink this year. In the center: the "Pink Floyd" rose.

5. tailor's workshop: Popp & Kretschmer's tailoring workshop is located in the ladies' dressing rooms. Small wardrobe malfunctions are expertly repaired here.

6. cobbler's workshop: The men's counterpart to point 5 can be found in the men's wardrobes next door.

7th Einsingraum: Away from the hustle and bustle of the ball, there are quieter corners - like this one - in the Haus am Opernring.

8th Parterrelogen Foyer: Here too, "Gerstner" serves up indulgence in perfection.

First lodge rank

© Katrin Kanzian

1st Schwindfoyer - Styrian wines: The wine bar will move to the Schwindfoyer in 2024, offering sufficient space for all guests, even without table or box reservations. This year, the wine bar will be hosted by the Styrian Terroir and Classic Wine Estates (STK).

2nd Marble Hall: The red donors' bench has moved to the center of the room this year, the musicians' platform can be found at the front facing the Ringstrasse. Culinary delights are served in the large marble hall by "Gerstner".

3rd Lancôme Photocall: Lancôme invites as "Presenting Partner" of the Vienna Opera Ball to the "Photocall" in the Annex Marble Hall. Ball guests can have their photos taken against a glamorous backdrop.

4th Dyson styling station: For the first time, Dyson has a "Self Service" station in the Annex Gustav Mahler Hall. Here, curls can also be re-done, hair blow-dried or straightened without outside help.

5th Gustav Mahler Hall: Need a short breather? In addition to numerous seating options, you can also look forward to musical accompaniment in a magnificent ambience.

Balcony and gallery

© Katrin Kanzian

1st Radio Wien Disco: If you are looking for a change from classical waltz music, this is the place for you.

2nd Falstaff Champagne Salon: Experience the finest Champagne bubbles in a relaxed atmosphere at the Falstaff Salon.

3rd Zum Schwarzen Kameel: This Viennese institution once again spoils guests at the Vienna Opera Ball with its classic, traditional delicacies.

4th Salon Campari: Italian lifestyle par excellence: the iconic "Bar Campari" makes you sit up and take notice with Negroni and co.

1st & 2nd basement

© Katrin Kanzian

1st Heuriger Wieninger: The traditional Viennese winery is once again enriching this year's "Opera Ball Heuriger" with the Buschenschank Wieninger on the Nussberg.

2nd Club Opera Kleinod: The renowned "Kleinod" bartenders provide first-class drinking culture for the second time in the "Club" of the Opera Ball.

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Falstaff Editorial Team
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