Austrian Government Cancels Wiener Opernball

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: dpa-Bildfunk/Hans Punz)

The Austrian government has announced that it has canceled the traditional Wiener Opernball.

Per the official statement of the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, the Government has decided to cancel the Opernball due to the heightened COVID-19 risk.

“It would be irresponsible to organize the Opernball in a usual way,” Kurz stated. “The fact that the festivals and celebrations are the places of contagion prompted us to cancel the event,” added the Austrian Chancellor.

Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler added that the Austrian government is very well aware of the social and economic importance of such events beyond Austria’s borders, but that protecting health must be a priority.

“The Wiener Staatsoper and other cultural institutions have put enormous amount of energy into the security concepts, and we are concentrating all our efforts supporting them and keeping the cultural scene as safe as possible,” Kogler noted.

The General Manager of the Wiener Staatsoper Bogdan Roščić said that he regretted the decision. However, Roščić welcomed the early decision about the cancellation.

“Equally important for the State Opera is the promise by the State Secretary Andrea Mayer that the owner will cover the loss of income. We all hope that we will reunite in February 2022 for a brilliant opera ball,” concluded Roščić.