Vienna is a city of classical music. Famous composers Strauss, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Mahler, all of whom lived and worked in the city, each played a part in cementing Vienna's prominent place in music history. And with many opera houses, concert halls, and other venues, it's easy to get a feel for Vienna's long love affair with classical music and experience the music of the city for yourself during your travel to Vienna.
Among the many opportunities to enjoy the music history of the city, your first stop should be the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, the historic center within the Ringstrasse, Vienna's circular boulevard. This area includes sights important to the history of opera and classical music in Vienna, such as the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera), which is within walking distance of the Hofburg Palace, home of the Austrian monarchs.
Beyond its stunning beauty and architecture, the opera house itself is a museum of music history and art. Sixteen oil paintings portray operas from the State Opera repertoire: The Barber of Seville (Rossini), The Magic Flute (Mozart), Fidelio (Beethoven), among many others. A bust of the corresponding composer is displayed below each painting. There's marble inlay work by Heinz Leinfellner portraying activities from the backstage theater life of the artists. You'll also notice two fountains by Josef Gasser to the side of the opera house.
The venue presents stunning ballet and opera performances as well as classical music concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. For travelers who wish to don their white ties and evening gowns and dance, there's the Vienna Opera Ball at the Wiener Staatsoper in February.
Vienna also has other beautiful venues for opera lovers - Theatre An Der Wien, where Beethoven's opera Fidelio premiered, and the Volksoper, presenting extensive seasons of performances.
Not to be left out of a music trip to Vienna is the Musikverein which offers sell-out performances of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, Schönbrunn Palace, the Hapsburg summer residence and the site of Mozart's first public appearance, presents frequent concerts of Mozart and Strauss for visitors.
An opera travel vacation to Vienna should also include a visit to Haus der Musik, a musuem dedicated to the history of classical music in Vienna, which includes an exhibit on the Vienna Philharmonic's history. In addition to this and a highly interactive exhibit on the science of sound, this museum dedicates separate rooms to the life and work of each of Vienna's major composers.
For opera lovers planning a trip to Austria, we design custom Vienna opera trips.