All Waltz!: The 66th Opera Ball officially opens

The Opera Ball may be a place for the rich and beautiful to see and be seen. This year's ball event is still held at the Vienna Opera – something that those in charge under the opera director Bogdan Rosick do not want to forget, especially at the start of the music. As in previous years, the focus of the opening ceremony this year was on the world of opera.

Mezzo-soprano Elena Karanka opened the evening's vocal performance with young Spanish soprano Serena Sanz with the classic hit “Barcaroll” from Jacques Offenbach's “The Tales of Hoffmann.” This was followed by two solos by Karanka and tenor Piotr Peksala. Later, Karanka and Besala performed vocals for Agustin Lara's “Granada”.

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“Signature for Peace”

For the Vienna State Ballet's performance, the opera invited Russian-born choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Choreographed by her, the pair of soloists danced the waltz “La Separation” by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko. Ratmansky wanted to “send a sign of peace in the world.”

Opera Ball on ORF TV

ORF will broadcast the highlight of the ball season for four hours live on ORF2 from 8:15 p.m. and live stream at tvthek.ORF.at.

144 couples of young women and youth groups had already entered the ballroom before the song and ballet performances. They performed the Johann Strauss (son) “Pepita Polka” choreographed by Maria Angelini-Santner and Christophe Santner of the Santner School of Dance. At the end of the opening came the announcement that made the opera ball an opera ball: the stage was opened to the audience with “Alles Waltz”.

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Walking the red carpet

A few hours ago, they walked the red carpet to the opera. As ORF anchor duo Marion Benda and Andy Knoll explained, this year's red carpet wasn't so easy. Once they lined up, guests had to decide whether to take the wide red carpet in front of the opera or head up the festival stairs, which were of course lined with their own red carpet for the evening. ball. But whether it's one or two – eventually everyone ends up in opera.

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Even music was played exclusively for one of them. As Federal President Alexander van der Bellen walks up the stairs to the opera, his footsteps are joined by fans. Of course, the federal president is not the only politician who respects the ball. A large part of the government of Chancellor Karl Neuhammer (ÖVP) also led to the opera. Coordinating Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) was also there. Werner Koegler (Greens), Vice Chancellor for Culture, ignored the ball; He was represented by the Greens state culture secretary Andrea Meyer. Former Chancellor Brigitte Perlein was also present at the ceremony.

As usual politicians brought international guests. Van der Bellen called his Montenegrin counterpart, Jakov Miladovic, “a symbol of Austria's commitment to the Western Balkans” – as Van der Bellen put it. Nehammer took with him Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia.

One of the most famous names on ball night didn't come from politics: Priscilla Presley. Earlier Thursday, Presley had already appeared in her outfit for the ball, a silver sequin dress by Nina Ricci. Presley attended the opera ball at the invitation of Richard Luchner, whom Presley said he wanted to dance with in the evening.

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Actor Franco Nero and pop singer Heino ensured further prominence. They accepted an invitation from German businessman Markus Deussl, who wanted to market himself and to the media a cold therapy device he had developed.

APA/Max Slovencik

Presley obviously shines on the ball

This year, Deussl also brought German model Alessandra Mayer-Wolten and her ex-husband, comedian Oliver Bocher, to the ball. The latter took a healthy injection at the ball on Thursday, and the whole thing wasn't caught on video.

Designer Helmut Klögler walked into the opera on the red carpet with her new long hairstyle and pointed fingernails. “I wondered what Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would look like at the ball. It's a little 'Rock Me Amadeus,'” German said.

Guests at the ball included former organists Elisabeth Gerdler and Maria Grossbauer, artist duo Cornelius Oponia and Caroline Pienkos, designer Lena Hosek, star violinist Lydia Pich and her husband singer Andreas Schager. Actress Nina Brol and former ORF general director Alexander Wrabets and his partner Leona König also attended the ball. Also present were Vienna's mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) and cathedral priest Toni Faber.

Model Babis Loveday has attracted many looks with her unusual headpiece. Musician DJ Ötzi attended the ball with his wife and daughter. Christina Hammer, president of the Salzburg Festival, did not miss the spectacle, nor did Sabine Haag, general director of the Art History Museum. Actress Sunny Melles graced the opening with circus performer and model Lily Paul-Roncalli.

Hundreds of police officers in and around the opera

To allow all the celebrities and the hundreds of other ball guests to get to the opera without interruption, the ring between Johanneskass and Obernkass and the Gardner Strasse between Karlsplatz and Obernring were closed to traffic from the evening. At this time the tram was shortened or diverted.

For the police, the opera ball is another big operation. “Several hundred police officers” are on duty in and around the Haus am Ring, Interior Minister Herhard Garner (ÖVP) said during a tour of the State Opera on Thursday morning. Explosive detection dogs from the Vienna Service Dog Squad completed an initial search of the opera on Wednesday, which continued until just before the ball began on Thursday.

The demos passed quietly

Demonstrations around the ball mean the police are working — even if they're quiet, according to the police. The Communist Youth of Austria (KJÖ) called for a march, which went through Kampendorfer Straße and Gedreitmark to the ring. Posters read, for example, “No profit from energy and rent” and “Strike instead of lazy compromise”.

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