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Vienna Opera Ball: preparation works at full blast

The preparations for the 57th Vienna Opera Ball (Thurs) will soon come to an end. Tickets for the ball have already been sold out: 5,150 guests are expected – famous celebrities among them.

It takes 30 hours to convert the auditorium of the Opera house into a ballroom. The procedure started today (Tues) at 7 am. 500 workers and their assistants are working on the conversion.

The renaturation takes 21 hours and will start directly after the ball. It will be interrupted by two presentations of Mozart’s opera "The Magic Flute for children".

There is not much time left for the 144 dancing couples of the ball to perfect their opening choreography. The first rehearsal in the Opera house took place on Sunday. Organiser Desiree Treichl-Stuergkh was not fully content with the debutants.

"This year I have the feeling that they keep forgetting dancing steps over night, but after a while they remember them again", she said.

It would be possible to have some extra training units on Wednesday evening - just in case.

The ball’s guest of honour will be Austria’s President Heinz Fischer. Famous politicians from various Austrian parties, such as Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger, the Minister for Economic Affairs Reinhold Mitterlehner (both OVP), the Minister for Culture Claudia Schmied and State Secretary Josef Ostermayer (both SPO) are expected at the event.

Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann, however, will not attend The Opera Ball this year.

The Vienna Opera Ball is popular with many celebrities. The German designer Harald Gloockler, actor Maximilian Schell and Austria’s ex-tennis Star Thomas Muster are only few examples of expected guests.

Austrian building contractor Richard Lugner, who has repeatedly invited famous celebrities to the ball, chose to invite Italian film diva Gina Lollobrigida and Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino this year.

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