History

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The Viennese Balls from Timisoara

In 2012, the history of Viennese Balls in Timisoara was revived by Ioana Hategan after almost 100 years. In 1716, Timisoara was regained from the Turkish Empire by Prince Eugene of Savoy and in just 30 years, it became once again an important city in both Central Europe and Austrian Empire. The glamour of the imperial court shone in the city, because of strong connections with the nobility who lived in Vienna, and the many visits of the royalties, Maria Theresa, Joseph II and Franz Joseph, who visited Timisoara many times between 1870 and 1891 in the era of the waltz. Following the Viennese tradition, the state visits and the festive occasions throughout the year were always marked by balls organized either by the authorities or the city`s nobility, as well as either by charities or businessmen from the city. Very often the balls were accompanied by premieres of outstanding performances, such as "The Magic Flute" by Mozart which was staged in Timisoara just months after its premiere in Vienna in 1796.

Opernball Viena

In 1877, under the pressure from the Viennese artistic circles, Franz Joseph I gives permission for the festivities, so-called "Opern Soiree", to be organized in the new Imperial and Royal Opera House located on the Ring in Vienna - this however will take place according to the very strict imposed rules which prohibited dancing! However, things took another turn, as described by the newspaper "Wiener FremdenBlatt" published in the morning of 12 December 1877: "... at the beginning, the atmosphere was downright gloomy, but the Viennese courage and spirit overcame the circumstances …right after midnight the inevitable first dance of the event took place in our Opera Hall... ".

Vienna Opera Ball becomes one of the most coveted social events – revived and promoted by the young Austrian Republic in 1921 after the collapse of the monarchy, and without exception since 1956. Under the patronage of the President of Austria, the Vienna Opera Ball is now a first-class worldwide event, anticipated yearly with the same excitement as the New Year's Concert in Vienna.

The Ball is called "the evening of one million Euros" because proceeds from ticket sale for this event sometimes exceed this amount which the organizers dedicate to important cultural projects of the Vienna Opera. Alongside royalty, politicians, diplomats and businessmen, major music stars and Hollywood celebrities like Roger Moore, Claudia Cardinale Sarah Fawcett could be seen in the lodges worth between 16.000 to 18.000 Euros.

Although the glamour is intrinsic to the event, it fully respects the etiquette of a Viennese ball, which implies a dignified behaviour, according to the conventions of the nineteenth century. Gentlemen wear traditional attire "white tie" (tuxedo), while the ladies display the most extravagant dresses and jewellery for the evening.