The tickets for Verdi’s opera Aida were listed as sold out.. Our only option was to buy a pair from a street vendor. Clearly this was a safe bet, the scalpers here dress like Mozart or Hayden, how wrong could it go?? There is a small cadre of these vendors lurking under the arches of the opera house and in the shadows of all the more venerable churches around town willing to help put you in a seat at the concert, symphony, opera or requiem of your choice… It is the free enterprise system, alive and well, capitalism..  buy low, sell really really high! Laugh all the way home…

No matter, it lent to the adventure and they did indeed turn out to be legitimate tickets   — just about 100 meters from the North Pole. It was still magic and the acoustics were superb! The opera hall itself was very nice, not as lavish or stylized as others we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy, but certainly grand in its own way.  That said, the front of the opera house, the lobbies, the grand salon, the main stairs and lounges were all on  par with the nicest houses anywhere. Marble, ornately carved, flowing up to ornate ceiling treatments and wall portraits of the great musical patriarchs of Vienna adorned most of the lounges and mail hall… There were no shortage of frescoes either and gold or crystal chandeliers hung everywhere. The chandelier in the hall itself was easily 30′ or more across, each piece looked to be the size of a baseball!

There are a handful of pictures here, but my favorite of them all is below. I thought the folks in the box across the theater looked right out of a painting and indeed was able to capture the effect perfectly!

click to appreciate