After two forced breaks due to the corona pandemic, around 5,000 guests are again expected at the Vienna Opera Ball on Thursday evening. The State Opera has been converted into a huge ballroom.
A highlight of the top social event in Austria is the entry of 144 young couples to a polonaise by Frédéric Chopin. The ranks of prominent visitors are led by Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and Austria's Prime Minister Karl Nehammer. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is expected to come from Germany. Hollywood star Jane Fonda will be at the side of entrepreneur and socialite Richard "Mörtel" Lugner.
The 65th Vienna Opera Ball is also dedicated to charity. This time the ticket costs 350 euros instead of 315 euros. According to the State Opera, the difference will be donated to social causes. This also applies to the higher prices for food and drink. On top of that, the painter Georg Baselitz created a work for this charitable purpose on behalf of the State Opera, which is to be auctioned for at least 150,000 euros on February 22nd.
Jane Fonda: "I thought I was going to an opera"
The attention of many media should be the 85-year-old Jane Fonda. The two-time Oscar winner accepted Lugner's invitation without realizing that it was a ball. "I thought I was going to an opera," Fonda confessed at the first joint press appointment with Lugner on Wednesday. She ruled out a dance with the 90-year-old in advance for reasons of caution. "I have an artificial shoulder, two artificial hips, two artificial knees. I'm old and I could fall apart," Fonda said.
On the occasion of the Opera Ball, the Communist Youth of Austria organized a protest march under the motto "Eat the Rich". However, the police only expect around 200 participants at the demonstration against social injustice. According to the authorities, around 160 officials are on duty around the Opera Ball because of possible individual disruptive actions by climate activists. The Vienna Opera Ball 2023 will be broadcast live from 8.15 p.m. on ORF 2 and from 9.10 p.m. on 3sat.