This year the deluxe ball at the Viennese State Opera was in the spirit of celebrating 150 years. It was attended by an unbelievable five thousand guests, including former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröber and Australian model and actress Elle Macpherson.
Full of famous names and expensive gowns
That was the traditional ball at the Viennese State Opera. Famous singer Conchita Wurst also attended the ball, although she chose to sport a shaved head and hairy chest instead of her trademark flowing hair. She wanted to use her attendance to make a political point, or more precisely to promote the oncoming elections to the European Parliament.
Tradition with a political subtext
The deluxe ball at the Viennese State Opera was held on Thursday 28 March and, in addition to the dancing, also had a diplomatic subtext. The Austrian leaders used their choice of guests to make a political point. For example Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasised his liberal convictions when he decided to invite Auma Obama, the half-sister of former American President Barack Obama, who helps disadvantaged youth in Kenya and Germany in her foundation. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz chose the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev as his honourable guest and emphasised his support of closer relations between the EU and the Balkan states.
The ball began with a vocal performance by Russian-born soprano Anna Netrebková and her husband tenor Yusaf Eyvazov. They were accompanied by 144 young debutantes.
The ball at the Viennese Opera (Wiener Opernball)
This event is the annual culmination of the Vienna ball season. It is held in the building of the Viennese State Opera on Ringstraße on the Thursday preceding Ash Wednesday. The seats are removed from the auditorium and a dance parquet of an area of 850 m² is installed in their place. Around seven thousand guests attend the ball and the proceeds from the event are EUR 8.4 million. News reporter Desirée Treichl-Stürgkh is the key organiser.