Vienna State Opera tickets 11 December 2024 - The Sleeping Beauty |

The Sleeping Beauty

Vienna State Opera, Main Stage, Vienna, Austria
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7 PM
US$ 128

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You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Important Info
Type: Ballet
City: Vienna, Austria
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 3
Intervals: 2
Duration: 3h 20min

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Ballet company: Vienna State Ballet
Conductor: Robert Reimer
Composer: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Author: Charles Perrault
Librettist: Ivan Vsevolozhsky
Librettist: Marius Petipa
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Choreography: Martin Schläpfer

With his Swan Lake in 2018, Martin Schläpfer aimed "for the heart of the fairy tale" and created "a great evening of ballet", as the Berlin Tagesspiegel wrote about the world premiere. He now follows this up with his version of Sleeping Beauty together with the Vienna State Ballet, designed by Florian Etti and with costumes by Catherine Voeffray.

The work that received its world premiere on 15 January 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg was one of the greatest events in the history of ballet. Two masters of their art – the composer Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky and the choreographer Marius Petipa – advised by the universally educated Artistic Director Ivan Vsevoloshsky, who not only wrote the libretto but also designed the costumes, had collaborated extremely closely to create a three-hour feast of dance which is unrivalled in the complexity of its musical form, the dramaturgy of its choreographic structure, its metaphorical intensity and the rich symbolism of its imagery.

Even more than in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky had worked the score of Sleeping Beauty into a symphonic form. The characters taken from Charles Perrault’s fairy tale La Belle au bois dormant, which was first published in 1697 in the anthology Les Contes de ma mère l’Oye, are subtly differentiated through their motifs, with the statement of the music and the details of the plot complementing each other perfectly. One of the score’s greatest admirers, Igor Stravinsky, wrote: "The pleasure it gave me lasted for days on end and in this work, I was delighted to find the same freshness, invention, strength and spirit over and over again. Every entrance, indeed every action that takes place on stage is always presented individually depending on the character of the person concerned and every number has its own personality."

While Sleeping Beauty can be seen as the most perfect creation in the entire Russian ballet repertoire, at the same time it presents many complex questions and remains open to new interpretations, not least because of the fairy tale on which it is based: a story about growing up, a girl developing into a woman, the intrusion of a fairy world in the everyday life of a royal court, the battle between light and darkness, of time against evil. At the end, the "other" world that intervenes in the life of Princess Aurora and her parents is secularized in a theatrical celebration – in Petipa’s version.

Martin Schläpfer was captivated by this opulent dance fairy tale when he was a student at the Royal Ballet School in London: "Sleeping Beauty was the classical ballet I saw most often in London: many times, with casts that included Jennifer Penney and David Wall, Lynn Seymour, Rudolf Nureyev and many others", he recalls. "Later, when I was a dancer myself, the Blue Bird was one of my most beautiful and fascinating roles. The piece has never let go of me." For a long time he has been occupied by the thought of choreographing a Sleeping Beauty. "I think the music is magnificent", he admits, "and then I went and did Swan Lake first. I love all three Tchaikovsky ballets – Nutcracker too – as different as they are. What fascinates me about Sleeping Beauty is the way the material, the music and its reception all interact together: on the one hand, Tchaikovsky’s score and of course the fairy tale as it is written in the books of Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, but on the other hand also what is often etched into the minds of the audience as as-it-were the "original ballet". I want to try to find a path between these two that doesn’t break with everything that is there but is something other than just another version "after Marius Petipa"."

As in his Swan Lake, Martin Schläpfer would like to think of Sleeping Beauty as a drama, "as a genuine plot that is always providing the characters with a text", even if large sections of the score are conceived as pure dances. He has a lot of questions for the characters described in the ballet’s libretto: "Despite all its brilliance, what is the deeper relationship of Aurora to her parents, the King and Queen, who for me are quite clearly lead roles: they don’t simply have a representative function, they are also going to have a lot to dance? Might the fairies be more elf-like, and come from a different world than the one the humans come from? Is Carabosse truly evil or is she a woman who is misunderstood, who has deep feelings, many levels, who is wise, a character who might also contain beauty and warmth? And a central question: What does the immense time gap of 100 years between Act One and Act Two mean – for the story, the characters, and for the dancing?"

Premiere of this production: 03 January 1890, Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg

The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet in a prologue and three acts, first performed in 1890. The music was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (his opus 66). The score was completed in 1889, and is the second of his three ballets. The original scenario was conceived by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, and is based on Charles Perrault's La Belle au bois dormant. The choreographer of the original production was Marius Petipa.


Time: Baroque
Place: Europe

Prologue (The Christening)

King Florestan XXIV and his Queen have welcomed their first child, Princess Aurora, and declare a grand christening ceremony to honor her. Six fairies are invited to the ceremony to bestow gifts on the child. Each fairy brings a gift of a virtue or positive trait, such as beauty, courage, sweetness, musical talent, and mischief. The most powerful fairy, the Lilac Fairy, arrives with her entourage, but before she can bestow her gift, the evil fairy Carabosse arrives with her minions. Carabosse furiously asks the King and Queen why she had not received an invitation to the christening. The blame falls on Catalabutte, the Master of Ceremonies who was in charge of the guest list. Carabosse gleefully tears his wig off and beats him with her staff, before placing a curse upon the baby princess as revenge: Aurora will indeed grow up to be a beautiful, healthy, delightful young lady, but on her sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger on a Spindle and die. The King and Queen are horrified and beg Carabosse for mercy, but she shows none. However, the Lilac Fairy intervenes. Though she does not have enough power to completely undo the curse, she alters it, allowing the spindle to cause a peaceful 100-year sleep for the princess, rather than death. At the end of those 100 years, she will be woken by the kiss of a handsome prince. Relieved that Aurora's life will ultimately be spared, the court is set at ease.

Act I (The Spell)

It is the day of Princess Aurora's sixteenth birthday. Celebrations are underway, though the King is still unsettled by Carabosse's omen. The master of ceremonies discovers several peasant ladies frolicking about with knitting needles and alerts the King, who initially sentences the women to a harsh punishment. The Queen gently persuades him to spare the innocent citizens, and he agrees. An elaborate waltz is performed and Princess Aurora arrives. She is introduced to four suitors by her doting parents. Aurora and the suitors perform the famous Rose Adagio. Presently, a cloaked stranger appears and offers a gift to the princess: a spindle. Having never seen one before, Aurora curiously examines the strange object as her parents desperately try to intervene. As predicted, she pricks her finger. While initially appearing to recover quickly, she falls into a swoon and collapses. The cloaked stranger reveals herself to be Carabosse, who believes that her curse still stands and that the princess is dead. Once again, the Lilac Fairy quells the hubbub and reminds the King and Queen that Aurora is merely asleep. The princess is carried off to bed, and the Lilac Fairy casts a spell of slumber over the entire kingdom, which will only be broken when Aurora awakens. A thick layer of thorny plants grows over the palace, hiding it from view.

Act II (The Vision)

One hundred years later, Prince Désiré is attending a hunting party. Though his companions are lighthearted, the prince is unhappy and eventually asks to be left alone. On his own in the forest, he is met by the Lilac Fairy, who has chosen him to awaken Aurora. She shows him a vision of the beautiful princess, and the prince is immediately smitten. The Lilac Fairy explains the situation, and Désiré begs to be taken to the princess. The Lilac Fairy takes him to the hidden castle. Carabosse makes one last attempt to cement her vengeful curse, but the Lilac Fairy and the prince manage to defeat her together at last. Once inside the castle, Désiré awakens Aurora with a kiss. The rest of the court wakes as well, and the King and Queen heartily approve when the prince proposes marriage and the princess accepts.

Act III (The Wedding)

The royal wedding is underway. Guests include the Jewel Fairies: Diamond, Gold, Silver and Sapphire, and of course the Lilac Fairy. Fairytale characters are in attendance, including Puss in Boots and The White Cat, Princess Florine and the Bluebird, and others. Aurora and Désiré perform a grand Pas de Deux, and the entire ensemble dances. The prince and princess are married, with the Lilac Fairy blessing the union.


Titles of all of the numbers listed here come from Marius Petipa's original scenario, as well as the original libretto and programs of the first production of 1890. Major changes which were made to the score for Petipa's original production are mentioned, and help explain why the score is often heard in different versions in theatres today.

All libretti and programs of works performed on the stages of the Imperial Theatres were titled in French, which was the official language of the Emperor's Court, as well as the language in which balletic terminology is derived.

Prologue — Le baptême de la Princesse Aurore

Venue Info

Vienna State Opera - Vienna
Location   Opernring 2

The Vienna State Opera is one of the leading opera houses in the world. Its past is steeped in tradition. Its present is alive with richly varied performances and events. Each season, the schedule features 350 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the Vienna State Opera's orchestra. The building is also the home of the Vienna State Ballet, and it hosts the annual Vienna Opera Ball during the carnival season.

The 1,709-seat Renaissance Revival venue was the first major building on the Vienna Ring Road. It was built from 1861 to 1869 following plans by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, and designs by Josef Hlávka. The opera house was inaugurated as the "Vienna Court Opera" (Wiener Hofoper) in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. It became known by its current name after the establishment of the First Austrian Republic in 1921. The Vienna State Opera is the successor of the Vienna Court Opera, the original construction site chosen and paid for by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1861.

The opera house was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstrasse commissioned by the Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the house in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect and contractor Josef Hlávka.

Gustav Mahler was one of the many conductors who have worked in Vienna. During his tenure (1897–1907), Mahler cultivated a new generation of singers, such as Anna Bahr-Mildenburg and Selma Kurz, and recruited a stage designer who replaced the lavish historical stage decors with 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 appreciated by the audience. However, Mahler's reforms were maintained by his successors.

Herbert von Karajan introduced the practice of performing operas exclusively in their original language instead of being translated into German. He also strengthened the ensemble and regular principal singers and introduced the policy of predominantly engaging guest singers. He began a collaboration with La Scala in Milan, in which both productions and orchestrations were shared. This created an opening for the prominent members of the Viennese ensemble to appear in Milan, especially to perform works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss.

Ballet companies merge

At the beginning of the 2005–2006 season, the ballet companies of the Staatsoper and the Vienna Volksoper were merged under the direction of Gyula Harangozó.

From the 2010–2011 season a new company was formed called Wiener Staatsballet, Vienna State Ballet, under the direction of former Paris Opera Ballet principal dancer Manuel Legris. Legris eliminated Harangozós's policy of presenting nothing but traditional narrative ballets with guest artists in the leading roles, concentrated on establishing a strong in-house ensemble and restored evenings of mixed bill programs, featuring works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, and many contemporary choreographers, as well as a reduced schedule of the classic ballets.

Opera ball

For many decades, the opera house has been the venue of the Vienna Opera Ball. It is an internationally renowned event, which takes place annually on the last Thursday in Fasching. Those in attendance often include visitors from around the world, especially prominent names in business and politics. The opera ball receives media coverage from a range of outlets.

Important Info
Type: Ballet
City: Vienna, Austria
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 3
Intervals: 2
Duration: 3h 20min
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