It is the major social event in Austria: after a two-year Corona break, the Vienna Opera Ball is taking place again tonight. Among the approximately 5,000 guests in the State Opera are once again numerous celebrities from show, culture and politics.

This year’s star guest of Richard Lugner (90) is Hollywood actress Jane Fonda (85). She caused a stir in advance because, according to “Bild”, she did not want to get into Lugner’s limousine and would rather do her own program. “I asked her if she would dance with me. Then she said: We’re going to the opera, you can’t dance there,” the newspaper quoted Lugner as saying. “Until yesterday she didn’t know that it was an opera ball and not an opera.”

Also present: US actor Chris Noth (68), known as Mr. Big from “Sex and the City”. He was delighted with the invitation and enthused: “It’s an unexpected honor and I will enjoy every moment of this impressive event.”

Several top politicians are also expected at the Opera Ball, including Austria’s President Alexander Van der Bellen (79), Chancellor Karl Nehammer (50) and Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (47). Finance Minister Christian Lindner (44) will take part from Germany.

Entrepreneur Klemens Hallmann (47) and his wife, ex-GNTM model Barbara Meier (36), have also invited prominent guests to their box, including director Thomas Roth (58), actor Jeff Willbusch (35) and TV presenter Katja Burkhard (57).

For the director of the Vienna State Opera, Bogdan Roščić (58), it is the first opera ball: “Of course I’m particularly looking forward to the opening program,” he told the Austrian media.

As in previous years, the Opera Ball is completely sold out. A normal admission ticket costs 350 euros, stage boxes 13,300 euros, tier boxes even 23,600 euros.

The Vienna Opera Ball is also an event of superlatives in other respects: 320 employees are responsible for gastronomy and hospitality, serving over 1200 bottles of sparkling wine and champagne, 900 bottles of wine, 900 bottles of beer, 2500 pairs of sausages and 1300 goulash soups. The State Opera is decorated with 171 flower arrangements and 480 flower arrangements.