6 Top Opera Houses In Austria

The staircase in the foyer of Grazs Opera House
The staircase in the foyer of Graz's Opera House | WikiCommons
Culture Trip

Austria is one of the best places in the world to see classical music performed live. Audiences flock to its beautiful theatres and concert halls to watch the melodramatic beauty of opera. Here are some of the finest places to enjoy a performance, all suitably decadent, with extravagant exteriors and fancy furnishings.

Theatre an der Wien

This historic building, constructed at the turn of the 19th century in the Mariahilf district, has been lucky enough to witness the premieres of many of Beethoven and Johann Strauss’ greatest works. The impressive interior (below) boasts rose walls embellished with lashings of golden swirls – an extravagant style typical of the Viennese. Shortly before World War II, the theatre closed its doors, reopening again in 1945 with a performance of Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio.

Linke Wienzeile 6, 1060 Wien

The delicately decorated backdrop of the Theatre Wien

Purpose built for the Salzburg Festival and one of the largest opera houses in the world, the Large Festival Hall is a stunning piece of architecture. If watching a show, you may have trouble following the plot as your eyes wander off to admire the fine art adorning the walls of the interior. This is one of the country’s most aesthetically enticing opera houses, with detailed mosaics on the floor accompanying sculptures and paintings by renowned Austrian artists.

Hofstallgasse 1, 5020 Salzburg

Salzburg Marionette Theatre

The debut performance here was Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, setting the bar high for the thousands of acts that have followed. The Salzburg Marionettes, the theatre’s company, have toured the world, bringing their puppet shows to a much wider audience than they can reach at home. During a reconstruction of the building in the 1970s, the stuccoed ceiling in the foyer was concealed. It remained hidden until a reconstruction in 2000 restored it to its former glory.

Schwarzstraße 24, 5020 Salzburg

The polished wooden floors of the Grosses Spielhaus Patrons Lounge

Graz Opera House

Performances of opera in Graz were taking place as early as the 17th century. Erected in 1899, the neo-baroque style Graz Opera has staged thousands of productions, hosting celebrity singers such as Maria Kouba and Ljuba Welitsch. Although the building suffered extensive damage during World War II, it subsequently underwent a US$15 million restoration project that modernised the interior. The repertoire at Graz Opera is always of the highest calibre and has included many of Mozart’s famous renditions. German magazine Opernwelt named it ‘Opera House of the Year’ in 2001.

Kaiser-Josef-Platz 10, 8010 Graz

The lavish interior of the Graz Opera auditorium

Vienna Volksoper

Intended as the ‘Emperor’s Anniversary Theatre’, this venue presents a delightful assortment of acts, including many modern musicals. Opera and operetta (opera’s jovial cousin) were not staged here until 1903, as it was not originally intended for the purpose of staging lyrical theatre. For visitors who haven’t yet mastered the German language, English subtitles are provided during select performances.

Währinger Str. 78, 1090 Wien

Vienna State Opera House

The opera house to end all opera houses, this mammoth wedding-cake-style building in the centre of Vienna attracts thousands of visitors through its doors each year. The 19th-century decor is incredibly lavish inside-out and the bill is always packed full of the finest operatic acts, offering an exciting new schedule each season. If you happen to be strolling past, you may find yourself persuaded to purchase a ticket by one of the many Mozart impersonators in the questionable old-style wigs.

Opernring 2, 1010 Wien

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
Edit article