The Sleeping Beauty

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December 2024 Next



The King and Queen have wished for a child for many years. Nine months later, the Queen has given birth to a baby girl. She is to be called Aurora. Her parents give a magnificent party to celebrate her Christening. Amongst the many guests are six fairies, their partners and children. They bring generous gifts for the child. Then the Master of Ceremonies Catalabutte bursts in, agitated. He has made a mistake and failed to invite one fairy: Carabosse. Outraged at being slighted, she enters the room with her entourage. All attempts to calm her down are in vain. Carabosse places a curse on the Princess: once Aurora has grown to be a young woman, she will prick her finger on a spindle and die. But the Lilac Fairy stands up to Carabosse. She manages to mitigate the curse of death to a long sleep. The King and Queen lament Aurora’s fate – and their own. Catalabutte is devastated.



Aurora has grown up at the royal court, where she is protected from every danger. Today is her 16th birthday. Pages have the job of ensuring that all the security measures are followed, but discover that one of them cannot stop spinning – which is forbidden at court. The party is already in full swing when Aurora enters the ballroom. Everyone is enchanted by the young Princess – including the four Princes who have all come to ask for her hand in marriage. Suddenly a stranger appears among the guests and hands Aurora a spindle. Fascinated by this unfamiliar object, she starts to dance with it and – before anyone can stop her – she pricks herself. The stranger reveals herself to be Carabosse. However, the Lilac Fairy keeps her promise and prevents Aurora’s death. The Lilac Fairy and Carabosse face off against each other.



For a hundred years, people have spoken about an enchanted castle where a Princess and her entire court must sleep until a Prince breaks the spell. Désiré has heard this story too. He has already travelled through countless forests in a vain search for the sleeping beauty. But today feels different. Nature is talking to him – a Woman from the Woods, a Faun, the Lilac Fairy. He finds the path to Aurora and breaks the spell with a kiss. They both fall in love at first sight. The court, too, awakens from its enchanted sleep. Aurora is able to hug Catalabutte and her parents and introduce them to Prince Désiré. Carabosse is forced to acknowledge that she has been defeated. Désiré forgives her.



Aurora and Désiré celebrate their wedding. Numerous guests offer their congratulations, including the fairies, the Blue Bird, his Princess and two cats. Suddenly the room falls silent – the Woman from the Woods and the Faun have appeared. Prince Désiré brings Carabosse back to join the others. There is a final confrontation with the Lilac Fairy. Aurora and Désiré dance the wedding waltz. The King and Queen know that their time is now over. They pass on their crowns and the responsibilities that go with them to Aurora and Désiré and withdraw – along with the fairies, animals and woodland creatures.




ACT 1 & 2 - 60 MIN.


ACT 3 - 55 MIN.

Program and cast

Musical Direction: Robert Reimer
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky & Toshio Hosokawa
Choreography: Martin Schläpfer, Marius Petipa
Stage: Florian Etti
Costumes: Catherine Voeffray
Lighting & Video: Thomas Diek
Dramaturgy: Anne do Paço

Vienna State Opera

Public Transport

Subway lines: U1, U2, U4
Trams: 1, 2, D, J, 62, 65
Buses: 59A
Local Railway: Badner Bahn
Stops: Karlsplatz / Opera

Taxi stands are available nearby.


Parking is only € 6, - for eight hours!

The Wiener Staatsoper and the ÖPARK Kärntner Ring Garage on Mahlerstraße 8, under the “Ringstraßengalerien”, offer the patrons of the Vienna State Opera a new, reduced parking fee. You can park in the Kärntner Ring Garage for up to 8 hours and pay only a flat fee of € 6, -. Just validate your ticket at one of the discount machines inside the Wiener Staatsoper. The normal rate will be charged for parking time greater than 8 hours. The validation machines can be found at the following coat checks: Operngasse, Herbert von Karajan-Platz, and the right and left and balcony galleries.

Important: In order to get the discount, please draw a ticket and do not use your credit card when entering the garage!

After devaluing your ticket in the Wiener Staatsoper you can pay comfortably by credit card or cash at the vending machines.

The machines accept coins and bills up to 50.- Euro. Parking time longer than 8 hours will be charged at the normal rate.


The structure of the opera house was planned by the Viennese architect August Sicard von Sicardsburg, while the inside was designed by interior decorator Eduard van der Nüll. It was also impacted by other major artists such as Moritz von Schwind, who painted the frescoes in the foyer, and the famous "Zauberflöten" (“Magic Flute”) series of frescoes on the veranda. Neither of the architects survived to see the opening of ‘their’ opera house: the sensitive van der Nüll committed suicide, and his friend Sicardsburg died of a stroke soon afterwards.


On May 25, 1869, the opera house solemnly opened with Mozart's Don Giovanni in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth.
The popularity of the building grew under the artistic influence of the first directors: Franz von Dingelstedt, Johann Herbeck, Franz Jauner, and Wilhelm Jahn. The Vienna opera experienced its first high point under the direction of Gustav Mahler. He completely transformed the outdated performance system, increased the precision and timing of the performances, and also utilized the experience of other noteworthy artists, such as Alfred Roller, for the formation of new stage aesthetics.


The years 1938 to 1945 were a dark chapter in the history of the opera house. Under the Nazis, many members of the house were driven out, pursued, and killed, and many works were not allowed to be played.


On March 12, 1945, the opera house was devastated during a bombing, but on May 1, 1945, the “State Opera in the Volksoper” opened with a performance of Mozart's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. On October 6, 1945, the hastily restored “Theaters an der Wien” reopened with Beethoven's FIDELIO. For the next ten years the Vienna State Opera operated in two venues while the true headquarters was being rebuilt at a great expense.


The Secretary of State for Public Works, Julius Raab, announced on May 24, 1945, that reconstruction of the Vienna State Opera would begin immediately. Only the main facade, the grand staircase, and the Schwind Foyer had been spared from the bombs. On November 5, 1955, the Vienna State Opera reopened with a new auditorium and modernized technology. Under the direction of Karl Böhm, Beethoven’s FIDELIO was brilliantly performed, and the opening ceremonies were broadcast by Austrian television. The whole world understood that life was beginning again for this country that had just regained its independence.


Today, the Vienna State Opera is considered one of the most important opera houses in the world; in particular, it is the house with the largest repertoire. It has been under the direction of Dominique Meyer since September 1, 2010.

© Bwag/Commons
© Wiener Staatsballett/Ashley Taylor
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