Vienna Staatsoper

Imagine the grandeur, luxury and opulence of an 18th Century European Opera theater. Gosh, the moment I stepped into the Wien Staatsoper, I was in awe. I've seen this setting so much in movies, in photos, I've even been to other buildings with similar interiors - but most of them were museums or restored public exhibits. You can't really enjoy them, you can just look at them, and tour around them. This, on the other hand, is an actual, functioning Opera House with all its glorious details. I made sure I packed a nice formal dress (all crumpled up at the bottom of my backpack throughout the trip though, haha, didn't even have an iron for it, but its ok, can la), and made it a goal to see an Opera in Vienna.

Vienna, after all, is a city of immense western culture and arts. It's got an area that's reserved just for museums! In what better city to enjoy an Opera? Then I googled the price for a ticket, and realised. What. On. Earth. A 4 hour show would cost me almost 200 pounds. Ok. Sis tak mampu. So many thoughts running through my head, like: how much maggi do I need to eat for the rest of the year if I splurge on this? Is it worth it?

Then I did more googling, and guess what, you can go to see the Opera, at a much, much, cheaper price, with one of the best views in the whole theater! And this is .... the standing seats.

Important - everyone who wants to go in has to be there in the queue. You can't ask someone to line up and buy 5 tickets for the whole group.

The standing tickets, or the Stehplatz, goes on sale on the day of the show, generally 80 minutes before it starts. So you have to be there - and be there early. Because people know about it. And people queue up. Locals, tourists, anyone who's interested, it's open for anyone to buy. The prices, ohmy, they are less than 5 euros. For the best. Seats. In the House.

In the Vienna Staatsoper, the entrance to buy the standing tickets is a small door on the left side of the Opera House. You'll have to be there at least 2 hours before to make sure that you can get a ticket. Once you buy it, you're directed inside straight away to the standing area. There are three areas, the Parterre, Balkon and Galerie. If you can, aim for a Parterre. They are located centrally dead eye level to the stage. After this, is the downside, you are only allowed to stand throughout the whole show. There are no seats. BUT there are cushioned arm rests. If your feet get too tired you can always sit down for a bit on the floor. Otherwise most acts last less than an hour, there are always intermissions between acts for your legs to catch a break :)

Walked around some of the other stalls and I'm guessing this is one of the most expensive. The parterre is just underneath this floor and has a similar view. 

Standing area during intermission where people drape their scarves. You can see the cushioned arm rests. photo from Tripadvisor. 

There's a procedure that if you want to reserve your standing area (say, before the show starts, you want to grab a coffee or something), you should put a scarf over your area to mark it. This is the custom. It cannot be a coat (you have to check in your coat), and a hat woudn't stay on. Make sure you have a scarf with you so that you are able to roam around the beautiful opera house freely knowing that you have a seat! Ooh, another thing, if you buy the standing tickets - there's no need to dress up formally! As long as you're not wearing slippers or a round collar tshirt (or anything too selekeh), I think it's perfectly fine. The organizers understand that most of the people who buy the Stehplatz are visitors. There were people in jeans and trainers lek je. But pakai decent sikit la if you can :) Bila lagi?

If the performance is in a foreign language, don't worry. There's a small screen under your arm rest that has translations of what they're saying. An important thing to note is that, you can leave anytime you want. So if you just wana go in, and get a selfie, see the performance for a bit, then head out to explore the city, this is perfect! But remember, you can only go in at the beginning of Acts when everyone comes in after the intermissions :)

Last thing to do, is explore around the building, take in the grand sights, and enjoy the show!

I got to watch an Opera performance Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. The orchestra was magnificent, amplified by the acoustics of the theater. But... to be completely honest with you.. I'm really not an opera person. You know all those comedies that make fun of operas? They way they sing in high octaves and the weird dramatic acting? Yep. That's what it was like for me. As much as I wish I was all classy and elegant and sincerely enjoy it, I think I'd be more excited with some Indian Bhangra dances! Much more energetic! Haha! 10 minutes into the act I was like...okay. I get it... this is a lot of whale noises. But it was a really great experience, and you open your eyes to the various cultures and ways people enjoy performing arts. What really amazed me was when everyone mingled around during the intermissions, drinking champagne, dressed oh-so-nicely, in beautiful rooms decorated with chandeliers and statues. I felt like I was in a film set. I was glad I was dressed to suit the occasion and the feeling I had, and my Daniel Wellington watch really fit into my vibe. It was definitely a night to remember. All of this - for less than 10 euros.


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