From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Vienna Hotel Transforms Hotel Rooms Into Box Seats for Outdoor Opera

The city's famous entertainment has been on hold since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Alfredo Paredes’ American Dream in Provincetown


Alfredo Paredes’ American Dream in Provincetown

Ralph Lauren’s longtime creative officer brings his rugged American aesthetic to...

Happy Clothes for Practical People


Happy Clothes for Practical People

Mara Hoffman has become a reliable and sustainable go-to for fun, functional...

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of


The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Of all the luxuries offered at the Four Seasons, this mattress might just be the...

Hotel Zeitgeist in Vienna was one of the many hotels across the globe that had to shut its doors due to COVID-19. But while it will still take time for regular guests to return, the property decided to make use of the empty rooms and courtyard by turning them into an outdoor concert hall.

On Saturday, nearly 40 rooms were used as opera boxes for the evening with the hotel courtyard acting as the stage. Guests watched from their windows as two opera singers accompanied by a string ensemble performed on the makeshift stage. The unique evening had all the elements of the traditional night out at the opera, including roaring applause, a conductor donning a tuxedo, and soprano Monika Medek gracing everyone with her vocal talents.

Related: With a Bold New Opera, Folk Star Rhiannon Giddens Turns a New Page on American Music

While Austria has lifted many pandemic restrictions in April, entertainment is still largely halted as gatherings of more than 100 people are still forbidden. This has left all of the famous classical Austrian music halls empty as well as the hotels. According to the city's chamber of commerce, the occupancy rate is less than 10 percent for June.

Hotel director Andreas Purtscher told AFP that the window concert was designed to give artists the chance to perform again since "work opportunities disappeared overnight" for artists. He wanted "to help people get out, find a sense of normality in their contact with others, and "remove some of the fear associated with the period of restrictions."

Related: Michelin-Starred Restaurant Celebrates ‘Living Theater’ With Social Distancing Dining

Purtscher also hopes this is a way for two industries to help each other during a difficult time as he thinks it will be a tough business "for at least a year." Not surprisingly, the performance sold out in three days with people itching for some normalcy. With so much success, the hotel director plans to hold at least three more window concerts by August.


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.