New attendance high, new programme for Vienna Opera

The Vienna Opera continued its successful run this season with a whopping 99.2-percent attendance, even as it planned a slew of new premieres for next year.

Average attendance has been growing ever since French director Dominique Meyer took over the prestigious opera house in 2010, reaching 98.2 percent last season.

Ticket sales meanwhile rose to 20.8 million euros ($26.8 million) in the 12 months from March 2012, compared to 19.7 million euros last season, Meyer told journalists Tuesday.

This was to continue next year with six opera premieres and three ballet premieres, alongside tried-and-tested repertoire works like Jacques Offenbach's "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" and Gaetano Donizetti's "Anna Bolena".

Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin", Giacomo Puccini's "La fanciulla del West", Antonin Dvorak's "Rusalka", "The Cunning Little Vixen" by Leos Janacek and Francesco Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur", as well as a new production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute", will have their first run at the venerable Opera House in the coming season.

On the ballet programme, an evening dedicated to William Forsythe, Natalia Horecna and Harald Lander, Rudolf Nurejev's full-length ballet "Swan Lake" and a gala performance of Nurejev's works will be among the highlights.

Guest performances by international opera stars like Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Placido Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa, Thomas Hampson, Neil Shicoff and Rolando Villazon are also on the agenda.

Away from home, the Vienna Opera will perform Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre in November and will appear at New York's Carnegie Hall in February-March 2014, with concert performances of Alban Berg's opera "Wozzeck" and Richard Strauss's "Salome".

The Vienna Opera Ballet will also give a guest performance at Oman's Royal Opera House Muscat in January 2014.