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What does „debutant“ (Debütant) mean?

Einzug der Debuetanten 2005
Entry of the debutants 2005

 

In other words it means beginner, for the Vienna Opera Ball in particular it means ladies and gentlemen visiting this ball for the first time. It also means those young people dancing a special choreography and Viennese Waltz to declare the ball open.

 

 

How much are the costs for joining?

Here you can see a rough listing of the costs caused by joining the Vienna Opera Ball as a debutant. Of course, this cannot be made exactly. It also depends on you.

  • Entrance for debutants: 120 Euros
  • Tailcoat/dress: varying, there are cheap offers (e.g. eBay) of a tailcoat from about 300 to 400 Euros with accessories (vest, shirt, bow tie), ball gowns from 400 Euros. A tailcoat can also be rented for about 200 Euros with accessories.
  • Shoes: 100 Euros
  • If necessary, additional dance lessons: about 100 Euros
  • Journey to Vienna: varying, depends on whether you are from Vienna-Ottakring or New Zealand 😉 Do not forget to look for cheap flights early, then costs of 150 Euros from Europe are realistic!
  • Accommodation: It is your choice if you prefer staying at Hotel Sacher or at youth hostel, but let’s calculate with 200 Euros for the whole week.
  • Holiday-related costs in Vienna (meals, sightseeing, fares): surely about 200 Euros for a week.
  • Hairdresser and make-up artist for the ladies: 100 Euros
  • Food and beverages at the ball: sparkling wine 9-13 Euros, champagne 24-30 Euros. As debutants you may bring along food and beverages, but let’s calculate with 25 Euros.

In total: about 1000 Euros, for the ladies a little bit more. But it should be worth to you in every case 😉

 

How do you apply?

To be allowed to take part in the Vienna Opera Ball as a debutant, you have to comply with the following requirements:

  • You must not be younger than 17 years or older than 24 years.
  • You must not have already opened the Vienna Opera Ball as a debutant.
  • You must have very good skills in left waltz. If this is not the case, don’t worry: Everything can be learnt, but in time!

The applying procedure for the Vienna Opera Ball depends on whether you are from Vienna, other Austrian Federal Länder or from abroad:

Vienna:
Personal application at the Opera Ball Office in Vienna (Goethegasse 1, 1st district) at one of two days in autumn before the ball (please inform at the Opera Ball Office (phone +43 1 51444-2613) or on the website of the Vienna State Opera). Then you will be informed about the day of presenting your dancing skills to a jury by mail.

Other Austrian Federal Länder:
Application with CV and photo up to a fix deadline (normally late summer, please inform at the Opera Ball Office (phone +43 1 51444-2613) or on the website of the Vienna State Opera) to the Opera Ball Office, Goethegasse 1, A-1010 Wien. Then you will be informed about the day of presenting your dancing skills to a jury by mail.

Abroad:
Application with CV, photo and a video showing you dancing a few minutes left waltz up to a fix deadline (normally late summer, please inform at the Opera Ball Office (phone +43 1 51444-2613) or on the website of the Vienna State Opera) to the Opera Ball Office, Goethegasse 1, A-1010 Wien. You will get further information about your application by mail.

 

What is important concerning my clothing and look?

You may refer to the pictures in the image gallery. Furthermore:

ladies gentlemen
all rehearsals
  • more or less elegant
  • blouse is OK
  • avoid jeans or corduroy pants and at least cover your belly 😉
  • suit
Generalprobe (dress rehearsal)
  • black coat and skirt or pantsuit
  • white blouse
  • dark suit
  • white shirt
  • tie
Opera Ball
  • snow-white (and NOT creamy!) ball gown
  • white shoes (closed in the front)
  • white long gloves (according to the dress, e.g. short sleeves -> gloves over ellbow)
  • no piercings
  • tattoos not visible (if necessary hide by make-up)
  • crown (you get it at one of the main rehearsals) fixed to your hair
  • tailcoat with accessoires
  • white bow tie
  • white cotton gloves (not leather)
  • patent leather shoe
  • no piercings
  • no earring
  • no barb
  • no long hair
  • no visible tattoos

Generally your shoes should have a sole of leather.

When are the rehearsals and how many are there?

Debuetanten bei der Generalprobe
debutants at the dress rehearsal

 

The most important thing: Always be on time. Once you are late, you might have to return back home. So better take one subway earlier 😉

You will get the dates of the rehearsals from the Opera Ball Office as soon as it is sure that you may participate. The Vienna couples have three rehearsals in January and February before the ball, whereas the ladies and gentlemen from the other Austrian Federal Länder and from abroad have only one or two lessons before the ball. Additionally, there are two main rehearsals (Hauptproben) for all in the Gustav-Mahler-Saal at the Vienna State Opera in the week before the ball and of course the dress rehearsal (Generalprobe) one day before the ball. In a nutshell: The couples from abroad and from the Federal Länder except Vienna have four to five rehearsals (exact and binding information of course from the Opera Ball Office), the couples from Vienna six.

You get a mark into your committee pass for every participation in a rehearsal. Without these marks you may not take part in the opening of the ball. So remember to take along your committee pass to all rehearsals.

What else?

  • You may take folding chairs and blankets to the ball – it is not a problem. Before your performance, you are accommodated in the Orgelsaal (organ hall), which does not have any seats (see photos). Furthermore, remember to take along food and beverages.
  • Patent leather shoes tend to stick to each other, which is especially bad when you cross the legs during the dance. This can be avoided by greasing critical regions of the shoes with Vaseline.

Further tips?