• 2016

    The first ten years as a "new opera house" are marked by two gala concerts of Beethoven's Fidelio and Mozart's Idomeneo and a staged anniversary production of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera. The latter is the 101st premiere of a stage work. Details of the previous hundred are available here.

    Die Dreigroschenoper 2015/16 013 ©Monika Rittershaus

  • 2015

    At a press conference launching the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Theater an der Wien as the City of Vienna's new opera house, Vienna's mayor Dr. Michael Häupl says: "With the reopening of the historic Theater an der Wien as a modern stagione opera house in 2006 a vision became reality. In my opening address in 2006 I stressed the City of Vienna's commitment to this new opera house, words that, after ten successful years, I can only emphasise again today. Director Roland Geyer and Director General Thomas Drozda have also succeeded in securing the Theater an der Wien an international reputation, and that strengthens Vienna's position as an important city of culture in Europe... "

  • 2014

    Nikolaus Harnoncourt ©Werner Kmetitsch

    From 6 to 29 March, a Mozart/Da Ponte cycle is presented by artists of the highest calibre under the musical direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt whose interpretations define the character of the Theater an der Wien from 2006 like no other. With his Concentus Musicus Wien and an ensemble combining established and young singers, Harnoncourt leads audiences and critics alike to a rediscovery of the Mozart operas Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. Many people already describe these consummate performances as the final musical legacy of Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929–2016).

  • 2013

    On 13 October the opera A Harlot’s Progress by the British composer Iain Bell receives its premiere and on 24 October a performance of a contemporary opera is broadcast worldwide from the Theater an der Wien as a live stream for the first time ever. From that point on, a third of the new productions at the Theater an der Wien and the Kammeroper are made available to a wider audience via live stream.

    A Harlot's Progress ©Werner Kmetitsch

  • 2012

    Junges Ensemble 2012 ©Lukas BeckFrom September 2012, the Theater an der Wien also stages productions at the Kammeroper. To this end, a young ensemble is founded that performs for two years on the small but versatile stage at no. 24, Fleischmarkt, and also takes on small roles at the Theater an der Wien. The programme at the Kammeroper consists of rarities and classics on a smaller scale which enable our young singers to acquire a wide repertoire.

  • 2011

    The Theater an der Wien and its main sponsor AGRANA continue their partnership. Beginning with the 2011/12 opera season, the cooperation that started with the reopening of the Theater an der Wien as an opera house in 2006 is renewed for a further three years. This means that AGRANA accompanies the Theater an der Wien into its sixth season. This decision underlines the sugar, starch and fruit company's position as a long-term sponsor of culture.

  • 2010

    For the first time in the new millennium, a historical revue, Tanz der Blinden, takes place in the large lounge, the Hölle. Under director Georg Wacks, the legendary era of literary-musical cabaret is brought back to life that flourished in these very rooms from 1906 to 1930. Such was the success that a new revue is staged every year thereafter.

    VALIE EXPORT Kunstwerk im Foyer 02 ©Rupert Steiner

    As the result of a competition and experts' discussions launched in 2006 for the reopening of the Theater an der Wien as the City of Vienna's new opera house, the newly designed  foyer was officially opened: the project by the media artist VALIE EXPORT and the architect Golmar Kempinger-Khatibi comprises the redesign of the facade including a new canopy and VALIE EXPORT's installation "Anagrammatische Komposition mit Würfelspiel (nach W.A. Mozart)" ("Anagrammatic Composition with Dice after W. A. Mozart)" next to the ticket office in the Theater an der Wien's foyer.

  • 2009

    September marks the first time that the Theater an der Wien is ranked second in the critics' survey run by the magazine Opernwelt to find the "opera house of the year". Director Roland Geyer and his team are delighted at this accolade, since it recognises the work done in the past three years to establish the theatre's identity as an opera house. This ranking confirms both the artistic quality of the opera house and its innovative stagione system.

  • 2008

    With its summer series "Operimsommer" the Theater an der Wien is the only Viennese opera house that meets the shortage of cultural activity in the city in the months of July and August. The Spanish zarzuela Luisa Fernanda with the international star Plácido Domingo and Mozart's Magic Flute under the exceptional direction of Achim Freyer give the Theater an der Wien a fine success with a total of 10,500 tickets sold. This amounts to 98.7% of all available seats and confirms that there is still great interest in the Theater an der Wien as an opera house in the summer, too.

  • 2007

    The society Friends of the Theater an der Wien is founded to support the opera house's work. The society aims to promote the theatre’s principal activities, thus underlining its status as an exceptional cultural institution, and to provide financial support to the very successful educational work done for young people by Jugend an der Wien.

    Jugend an der Wien Freischuetz ©Laurent Ziegler

    Jugend an der Wien is the name of the Theater an der Wien's educational programme that has been steadily growing since 2007 and now includes the opera house's school projects, closely linked to the productions, and performances for schools in the Kammeroper. In individual workshops, school classes can prepare themselves for the productions and discuss the social relevance of the themes and the production itself. The Jugend macht Oper section gives young people between the ages of 14 and 21 the chance to perform on stage themselves, or play in the orchestra pit. The adrenaline kicks in when, every year in spring, the curtain rises on the performances of the youth opera on the Theater an der Wien's large stage.

  • 2006

    In the first years, it is the "three Ms" that form the backbone of the programme: Monteverdi – Mozart – modern. Works from the 17th and 18th centuries are brought to life chiefly by ensembles specialising in historical performance practice, and a consequence of this is that the baroque opera repertoire is rediscovered for Vienna. In addition to the staged performances of these operas, concert renditions of well-known and unknown operas of this era that deserve to be rediscovered complete the programme. Contemporary musical theatre is regularly promoted by the commissioning of works from established and young composers. The operas are presented under the "stagione" system, with a premiere or a new opera production added to the programme every month.

    The main sponsor is AGRANA whose generous support helps the opera house get under way.

    Inauguration 2006 Placido Domingo ©Achim Bieniek

  • 2005

    With the last performance of Elisabeth on 4th December the era of musicals at the Theater an der Wien draws to a close. Under its new director Roland Geyer it is to become the City of Vienna’s new opera house from January 2006.

    Fassade Musical 2005 ©.

  • 1999

    After restoration work and a technical overhaul the musical Mozart! by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay is premiered, again under the direction of Harry Kupfer.

  • 1992

    In September the acclaimed opera director Harry Kupfer stages the premiere of the musical Elisabeth.

  • 1983

    Cats begins Peter Weck’s era as director and becomes the first long-running success on the continent. It is followed by The Phantom of the Opera and Freudiana.

  • 1972

    Helden, Helden (music: Udo Jürgens) becomes the theatre’s first self-penned musical. Two more follow: Das Glas Wasser in 1977 and Die Gräfin vom Naschmarkt in 1978.

  • 1967

    The Merry Widow is included in the programme as a summer operetta (initially with Johannes Heesters) and is performed every year for the next 13 years. The Italian star tenor Giuseppe di Stefano appears as a guest performer in Lehár’s The Land of Smiles and enjoys huge success.

  • 1965

    Under the aegis of impresario Rolf Kutschera the latest musical hits from Broadway are performed in German by the theatre’s own company. These include Anatevka, The Man of La Mancha, Zorba, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar, each presented in several runs of 50 to 70 performances.

  • 1964

    On 14th June The Last Days of Mankind by Karl Kraus is premiered at the Theater an der Wien.

  • 1962

    In a ceremony on 28th May the theatre is opened by Austria’s president Adolf Schärf as a venue for the Wiener Festwochen. The opening performance follows two days later with Mozart’s The Magic Flute conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

    Portal Theater an der Wien 1962 ©.

  • 1955

    The State Opera moves into its reconstructed building on the Ringstrasse. Plans are being considered to replace the Theater an der Wien with a large car park or a department store. Fortunately the theatre is not only maintained as a venue for the Vienna Festival, the Wiener Festwochen, it is also lovingly restored and provided with first-class equipment.

    Vordach Theater an der Wien 1962 ©.

  • 1951

    Coinciding with its 150th anniversary the Theater an der Wien, thanks to its extensive repertoire and the engagement of the greatest conductors of the time (Karl Böhm, Hans Knappertsbusch and Clemens Kraus) has attained the status of one of the most important opera houses in Europe.

  • 1945

    The theatre is reopened on 6th October with a performance of Fidelio by the company of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Josef Krips. In the course of five productions (The Marriage of Figaro in 1945, Don Giovanni and The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1946, Così fan tutte in 1947 and finally The Magic Flute in 1948) the legendary “Viennese Mozart style” develops under very specific conditions.

  • 1936

    With Ralph Benatzky’s Axel an der Himmelstür starring Zarah Leander a long era comes to an end. In the ensuing years the cinema takes over many of the roles previously played by the theatre. The Theater an der Wien is closed before Austria’s annexation to the German Reich in 1938 and languishes unused apart from some events organized by "Kraft durch Freude" (the KdF, literally "strength through joy", a state-controlled leisure organization in the Third Reich), surviving World War II unscathed.

    Theaterzettel Axel an der Himmelstuer ©historisch

  • 1932

    One last highlight: Sissy, with music by the violinist Fritz Kreisler and with Paula Wessely in the title role, becomes a serial success. 20 years later Hubert Marischka’s brother Ernst will take the same story as the basis of the legendary film Sissi with Romy Schneider in the title role.

  • 1923

    Franz Lehár’s Die gelbe Jacke (The Yellow Jacket) is premiered at the theatre and returns in 1930 with Richard Tauber as The Land of Smiles.

  • 1905

    With The Merry Widow by Franz Lehár a second successful era begins, the "silver era of Viennese operetta". Besides Lehár the chief protagonists of this era are Emmerich Kálmán, Edmund Eysler, Leo Fall, Bruno Granichstädten and, later on, Ralph Benatzky and Paul Abraham. The special style so characteristic of the Theater an der Wien - top-class entertainment coupled with artistic quality - is maintained for nearly forty years by the director Wilhelm Karczag and his successor and son-in-law Hubert Marischka.

    Franz Lehar ©historisch

  • 1900

    The Biedermeier-style portal with the address "an der Laimgruben 26" is replaced by a residential building in turn-of-the-century style. Later on the cellar of this building will house the cabaret known as Die Hölle (hell), and the denizens of the theatre still refer to his room, which today serves as a bar and buffet where patrons can relax during the interval, by this name. Besides cabaret, evening song recitals and comedies small operettas are premiered here too, among them Fall’s Brüderlein fein and Lehár’s Frühling (Spring).

    Hölle Innenansicht um 1910 ©.

  • 1874

    This year not only sees Alexander Girardi’s first performance at the Theater an der Wien, it also marks the beginning of the "golden age of Viennese operetta", ushered in on 5th April by the premiere of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. For years to come it is the operettas of Johann Strauss (The Gypsy Baron, 1885), Carl Zeller (Der Vogelhändler, 1891) and Carl Millöcker (The Beggar Student, 1883) that quench the thirst for entertainment of first the Viennese and soon after the whole world with unparalleled charm and music of the very highest quality.

  • 1862

    With the arrival of Friedrich Stampfer as director of the theatre, operetta rapidly gains popularity. The resident diva Josefine Gallmeyer, attractive, pert and vivacious, introduces the cancan to Vienna. Marie Geistinger, her strongest rival, is responsible for ensuring that the success enjoyed in Paris by Offenbach’s works La Belle Hélène and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein is continued at the Theater an der Wien.

    Marie Geistinger ©historisch

  • 1845

    Following a "hostile takeover" (a benefactor paid the theatre’s debts) ownership of the Theater an der Wien passes to Franz Pokorny and the director Karl Carl is forced to move out along with his company. Pokorny’s intention is to stage mainly operas, but despite a sensational season of guest performances by Jenny Lind, the "Swedish nightingale", he rapidly goes bankrupt. After the upheavals of the revolution in 1848 and Pokorny’s death his son Alois assumes responsibility for the theatre, though his period in charge is no more successful than his father’s was. In 1860 the resident composer Franz von Suppé composes Das Pensionat (The Finishing School), the first operetta in Viennese style.

    Kaiserl. Königl. Schauspielhaus an der Wien ©.

  • 1830

    The actress Therese Krones and Johann Nestroy join the company at the Theater an der Wien. The ensuing years see a number a successful premieres of Nestroy’s works in which he always plays one of the leading roles and holds up a mirror to contemporary society: Lumpazivagabundus in 1833, Upstairs, Downstairs (Zu ebener Erde und erster Stock) in 1835, Das Haus der Temperamente in 1837, Der Talisman in 1840, Das Mädl aus der Vorstadt in 1841, Einen Jux will er sich machen in 1842, Liebesgeschichten und Heiratssachen in 1843 and Der Zerrissene in 1844.

    Johann Nestroy ©historisch

  • 1825

    The theatre, now heavily in debt, is taken over by Karl Carl from Munich who, as “Staberl”, quickly wins over the hearts of the Viennese. Comedy spectacles and plays about knights and chivalry draw the crowds while the new impresario treats his actors like extras – and pays them accordingly! In 1827 he also takes over management of the Theater in der Josefstadt and this brings him a new leading man: Wenzel Scholz, the chubby comedian, who is justifiably immortalized on the iron curtain beside Nestroy and Raimund.

  • 1820

    In August the Theater an der Wien is raffled for the first time because the takings are too low to guarantee the financing of further productions. Raffles subsequently provide a source of income for the leaseholders on a number of occasions, although the winners prefer to take their prizes in cash rather than assume responsibility for the theatre! The premiere of Franz Schubert’s opera The Magic Harp and his music for the romantic tragedy Rosamunde show that music theatre and drama are also embracing every new development.

    Theaterzettel Rosamunde ©historisch

  • 1818

    Ferdinand Raimund performs at the Theater an der Wien for the first time. In 1827 his fairy-tale drama Moisasurs Zauberfluch (The Magic Curse of Moisasur) is premiered, before Johann Nestroy dominates for the next 20 years. Both are commemorated on the iron curtain next to The Magic Flute.

    Eisener Vorhang ©vbw

  • 1817

    Gioacchino Rossini’s operas send a wave of genuine hysteria through Vienna. With the premiere of Franz Grillparzer’s Die Ahnfrau (The Ancestress) a considerable amount of the Austrian classicism that was to survive for two centuries also leaves its mark on the Theater an der Wien.

  • 1812

    Schikaneder dies in abject poverty and isolation. However, his spirit lives on in his theatre where performances prevail that feature truly spectacular effects, such as tales of sorcery and chivalry with jousting, sword fights and burning castles. One such production is Friedrich von Schiller’s tragedy The Maid of Orleans which requires more than 400 people and 80 horses on stage at once. From 1815 to 1821 “Count Palffy’s children’s ballets” are the star attraction and produce, among others, the dancer Fanny Elssler who later achieves worldwide fame.

    Emanuel Schikaneder ©historisch

  • 1810

    Under the direction of the "Gesellschaft der Cavaliere" (Society of Cavaliers) the frequently changing programme, a motley collection of music theatre, comedy, “academy” (concerts) and tragedy, is given a new facet by the addition of fashionable plays about knights and chivalry, beginning on 17th March 1810 with the premiere of Heinrich von Kleist’s Das Käthchen von Heilbronn.

  • 1805

    Beethoven’s Fidelio, Eroica and many of his other orchestral works are premiered in the Theater an der Wien, sometimes with Beethoven conducting, sometimes with him as pianist.

  • 1803

    After only two years the patron and his impresario have fallen out and gone bankrupt. Schikaneder is forced to sell the theatre to his bitterest enemy, Peter Freiherr von Braun. However, being in possession of the imperial privilege (as shown by the eagle over the Papageno gate that is still visible today) he retains the post of artistic director and appoints Ludwig van Beethoven director of music and resident composer. On 3rd April 1803 Beethoven’s oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives, his 2nd Symphony and his piano concerto in C minor are premiered in an “academy”.

    Theater an der Wien 1802 ©.

  • 1801

    On 13th June, at 7 o’clock in the evening, Emanuel Schikaneder opens the Theater an der Wien as the “Playhouse of imperial and royal privilege” with his own work, the allegorical gala prologue Thespis Traum, and the heroic opera Alexander by Franz Teyber. The theatre’s façade is ochre with Empire style windows while the interior is decorated in blue and silver, the colours red and gold being reserved for the imperial court. It is “more spacious than any in Vienna”, with a capacity of almost 2,000. “Schikaneder is abroad in Vienna’s suburbs where he has built a truly splendid building with furnishings that many an impresario could and should gainfully visit…” (Johann Gottfried Seume on his Spaziergang nach Syracus (Promenade to Syracuse), October 1801).

    Das neu errichtete Theater an der Wien 1801 ©.