Vienna State Opera

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Vienna State Opera (German: Wiener Staatsoper), located in Vienna, Austria, is one of the most important opera companies in Europe. Until 1920 it was named the Vienna Court Opera (Hofoper).

The company

Gustav Mahler is one of the many illustrious conductors who have worked in Vienna. During his tenure, Mahler cultivated a new generation of singers, such as Anna Bahr-Mildenburg, Selma Kurz and Leo Slezak and recruited a stage designer who replaced the lavish historical stage dcors for sparse stage scenery corresponding to modernistic, Jugendstil tastes. Mahler also introduced the practice of dimming the lighting in the theatre during performances, which was initially not appreciate by the audience. However, Mahler's reforms were maintained by his successors.

The company is currently headed by Seiji Ozawa. Other conductors at Vienna have included Hans Richter, Felix Weingartner, Richard Strauss, Clemens Krauss, Wilhelm Furtwngler, Bruno Walter, Karl Bhm, Herbert von Karajan, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, and Riccardo Muti.

Until the directorship was taken over by von Karajan, Vienna maintained a permanent ensemble. Von Karajan introduced the policy of engaging guest singers.

The Vienna State Opera is closely linked to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which is an incorporated society of its own, but whose members are recruited from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera.

The opera house

The original State Opera House, a neo-romantic building severely criticised when it was built, was inaugurated on May 25, 1869 with Mozart's Don Giovanni.

During World War II, the stage was destroyed by Allied bombs and the building gutted by fire on March 12, 1945. The foyer, with frescoes by Moritz von Schwind, the main stairways, the vestibule and the tea room were spared. Almost the entire dcor and props for more than 120 operas with around 150,000 costumes were destroyed. The State Opera was temporarily housed at the Theater an der Wien and at the Volksoper.

The rebuilt theatre, seating more than 2200, reopened on November 5, 1955 with Beethoven's Fidelio with Karl Bhm conducting.

For many decades, the opera house has been the venue of the Vienna Opera Ball.da:Wiener Staatsoper de:Wiener Staatsoper ja:ウィーン国立歌劇場

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