(W for Wien, facade of the Vienna State Opera at Night)
The Vienna State Opera was the first major building on the Wiener Ringstraße commissioned by the controversial Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the building in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, who lived together in the 6. Bezirk. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style. This was the first opera built in Vienna.
The Vienna State Opera is closely linked to the Vienna Philharmonic, which is an incorporated society of its own, but whose members are recruited from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera.
The Wiener Staatsoper is one of the busiest opera houses in the world producing 50 to 60 operas per year in approximately 200 performances. It is quite common to find a different opera being produced each day of a week. As such, the Staatsoper employs over 1000 people. As of 2008, the annual operating budget of the Staatsoper was 100 million Euros with slightly more than 50% coming in the form of a state subsidy.You'd see employees dressed as Mozart or Strauß selling tickets near the area.
The opera company operates a repertoire system: more than 50 productions are staged every year, and there is a performance nearly every day for ten months of the year.
The opera's current musical director is Seiji Ozawa.