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Vienna, Austria: State Opera: April 2009

This photo album is the fourth in a series of five from my brief trip to Vienna in April 2009. These 65-ish photos are in and about the Wiener Staatsoper, where I attended 100+ performances (mostly standing room) while a student in 1994.

Of the three nights I was in Vienna this time, I bought an actual ticket once (Night 3), the opera house was closed once (Night 2), and I stayed at the bar once (Night 1). I had intended to get a standing room ticket that first night, but traveling got the better of me.

However, the standing room ticket process seems the same now as it was fifteen years ago, according to the excellent guide on the Mostly Opera blog here.

April 11 (and April 9, for that matter) was a performance of Wagner’s Parsifal, his final opera and by far my favorite work in the medium by any composer. You can see the cast list in a photo of the poster in this album (view the original size on Flickr if it’s hard to read at the small default size). A decent performance in a mostly bad production (see the ominous disco ball on stage in a photo from my camera phone, taken on a backstage tour on Good Friday, April 10).

While studying abroad in Vienna I spent more hours waiting in line at the Vienna State Opera than any other activity – including (especially) studying. Hence the shots of colonnade outside the standing room entrance – my real home away from my home away from home. This building is notoriously hard to take in at a glance – there’s just no good angle on it – and therefore also hard to photograph. I’ve seen no good modern exterior shot of it, and certainly didn’t get one myself.

However, there are a couple of interesting views inside the opera house, and one of Mahler’s piano.

As always, in my opinion the set is best viewed in slideshow form on Flickr here (be sure to watch in full screen mode), but I’ve pasted in a gallery of thumbnails below.

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