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Vienna's tradition of orchestral music is coupled with Viennese excellence in opera performance. In fact, the Vienna Philharmonic draws its members from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. The Vienna State Opera performs in a large, dedicated opera house, known simply as the State Opera (Staatsoper). The State Opera is the more high-toned of Vienna's two great opera houses, with an emphasis on serious classical productions.

The People's Opera is the other great opera house in Vienna. It is outside the inner city but can be quickly reached by public transport, having a subway station to its name. Like the State Opera, the People's Opera gives hundreds of performances during the season, although its musical scope is somewhat broader than that of the State Opera. In addition to the great classical operas, the repertoire of the People's Opera extends to ballet performances and modern musicals.

The musical season at both the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna People's Opera runs from September through June. The summer months of July and August are set aside to rest the players and to plan new productions.


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