At the Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper) ticket counter, we checked out the schedule for the opera of the day. Everyone has been saying we must visit the Opera House for an opera in Vienna, it’s world famous for operas. The ticket officer was very helpful. He recommended us some of the performances and from him, we knew that students can watch certain performances for free! How fortunate! No wonder they are cultivated since young to appreciate classical music and arts.
We couldn’t watch for free since we were no longer young school kids. The ticket officer highly recommended an opera called “TOSCA” to us. It was a Category A (Best) Opera and all tickets were already sold out. But we could queue up for the standing gallery tickets, on a first-come-first-served basis. The ticket officer suggested that we could queue up one and a half hour earlier before the opera started.
The queue had already started by the time we joined in. A Japanese man in his fifties was queuing behind us. We lined up for about one and a half hour and luckily, there were still tickets left and we finally bought our tickets. The ticket was cheap – €3.50 only for a world class performance in a world class opera house! But it came with no seat.
There are a few entrance doors to the standing gallery. We had to think and act fast as people who got the tickets were rushing into the standing gallery. The Japanese man who was behind us was already running ahead of us at the entrance to grab the best view of the stage! We were not bad either; we had a good standing view.
The Orchestral Conductor of Tosca was a Japanese. I believed those beautifully dressed Japanese women wearing Kimono must be his fans. Only tourists like us were dressed down. That’s why we only deserved the standing gallery! Argh!
At the standing gallery, each standing area has a screen that translates the Italian opera to English. We had to watch and read the translation at the same time. During the break, people at the standing gallery would tie their sweaters to the bar in front of them, to indicate that the standing area was taken. I could see that most of them were tourists too, who could be like us who tried to catch a last minute show.