Opera for the Poor in Vienna

On my trip to Austria in 2012, I thought I’d go feed my cultural appetite. Other than watching the Vienna Boys Choir’s Christmas concert in Austria, I thought of watching an opera. But hesitant as I thought it would put a dent in my pocket.

With plenty of time left, I did research on possibly watching an opera at an affordable price. Surprised with what I found, I didn’t know that opera in Vienna can be cheap. If you just look…

The answer for those on a budget is… The Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera)!


The good news is, it is so cheap for about 5€ but the tradeoff is, it is in the Standing Room Only (SRO) section of the opera house. Also, at this section, it is not possible to book in advance, so that it is a must to queue early for when the tickets start to go on sale. There are also just a limited number of slots. It is recommended to come for the tickets about 2.5 hours prior to the show. When we arrived, there was already quite a queue and we were already outside the building.


The performance that night was Il Barbiere di Siviglia.



Our patience that night paid off and we were able to secure tickets. Yay! The interior of the opera house was so grand, it could be a 5-star hotel, or a museum, or a palace.


This is the inside of the performance hall. We were one of the early birds as there was not a lot of people yet in the main hall. The SRO section was crowding up but we didn’t have difficulty securing our seats.


There is a personal digital text reader in every standing space. Being a novice (and an ignorant in operas), I didn’t know what it was until I saw my “spacemate” using it and then I understood why I wasn’t understanding the play. Hahaha… It was in Italian, and the text reader had a translator (?). Oh well… I don’t need to say I understood what I was watching, but I was entertained nevertheless.

When in Vienna, remember that watching an opera can be done on a budget. It is worth the 5 bucks, and if I had more time then, I would have gone again, and would have probably understood Il Barbiere di Siviglia the second time around.

Now… It is no longer a secret 🙂

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