On Friday I had the chance to go and see Fidelio at the Vienna state opera for the 3rd time already. The first time I have seen the opera was in Volksoper back in 2015. I was pleasantly surprised with the amazing performance of Peter Seiffert and Camilla Nylund. If you are not familiar with the opera life in Vienna this is one of the most loved operas that the Viennese have the pleasure to see. As you can imagine the room is always full and at the end of each aria you would always hear the loud “Bravo!” and why not accompanied by a whistle or two. Every time I have been at the Vienna state opera for this performance it is the same procedure.
It has been a long time since I had some spare time to enjoy an opera, but I planned last night for a while now so I would not miss it. One of my very favorite composers is Tchaikovsky, however, I enjoy opera more than anything else, so when I know one of his operas is coming up on the program I cannot skip it.
Eugen Onegin is an opera, which tells Pushkin‘s story in a more reverse way. As a contrast to the famous novel, in the opera, the audience is able to see Tatjana’s perspective instead of Onegin’s. If you haven’t read the novel I’ll just tell you in a few sentences what is it about.
(Anna Netrebko as Tatjana)
I’ve been fascinated with opera for as long as I can remember. My parents introduced me to this art from a very early age. I think I was five years old when they first took me with them at an opera and it was exactly for Die Fledermaus. I remember very vaguely what was happening but I remember I liked it – I liked it a lot. Maybe because of the princess dresses they were wearing or maybe because of the amazing music but I fell in love. From then on I’ve seen more than fifty operas in my life and for a 20 year old person I think that is quite a number.
As Richard Gear’s character in “Pretty Woman” says: “People’s reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.” I really love this quote because it depicts it rather well and that is how it really is. I’ve witnessed many people seeing an opera for the first time and that is really the way it is.
Last night I saw the performance at the Volksoper and I have to admit – it awakened so many memories and warm feelings. The setting is very well made. It is very colourful and moving and keeps you very entertained the whole time. The music needs no comment – Strauss just wrote a masterpiece in which he captured the Viennese spirit and only when you hear it you can really feel it. Of course the overture and the waltz are one of the most famous and loved parts from the opera (mine as well).
As you may all know, opera is not a very cheap art. This would lead to think that with a student budget you have to be careful what you choose to see – not at all. There is this option in Vienna both in Volksoper and Staatsopera, mainly, to get standing places tickets. Very cheap – around 3 or 4 euro and totally worth it. The view you get is great and if you are lucky sometimes you may even be able to sit.
The other option you may choose is to buy a Restkarte (tickets that were not sold throughout the day) although that is valid only for students under 26 years. I chose this option yesterday – it is not as cheap as the standing places but is a very economic option – around 12 euros. I decided to take my chance and purchase that and I got a place at the balcony on the second row – how cool is that? So that way I was able to fully enjoy the performance and let myself sink completely within the music.
And that is trailer for the operette from the Vienna State Opera.