Le Grand Bal of the Hofburg Vienna
A Glittering Premiere for New Year’s Eve
16 October 2012
“It is a matter of personal pride for me as director of the city’s finest ball destination and international event centre that we get the Viennese ball season under way with our very own glittering event,” Mrs Danler explained. In fact, the HOFBURG Vienna has long been a bastion of Viennese ball tradition at this special time of year, but now LE GRAND BAL of the HOFBURG Vienna will bring a completely new variation on the theme to the former imperial palace. Mrs Danler added: “We have retained a number of the quintessential elements of traditional Viennese ball culture, but have struck out in an entirely new direction with a gourmet gala dinner, differently themed rooms and a range of exciting new artistic highlights.” The new LE GRAND BAL of the HOFBURG Vienna brand is a declaration of love for ball tradition and recognition of its French roots. “For us, LE GRAND BAL of the HOFBURG Vienna in our staterooms is the ball to end all balls,” noted Mrs Danler.
Guests can look forward to a breathtaking spectacle dreamed up by stage designer and artist Christof Cremer. The quality of the world-class programme put together by artistic coordinator Herbert Fischerauer speaks for itself: “We are particularly proud that Olga Esina and Roman Lazik, the two lead soloists from the Vienna State Ballet, will play such a prominent role,” Danler noted. After the debutantes committee from the Elmayer dance school officially open the ball with Emile Waldteufel’s swinging fan polonaise “Amour et Printemps”, the State Ballet’s world famous stars will perform a piece choreographed by Boris Nebyla to Jacques Offenbach’s “Ballet des Flocons de Neige”. Vienna Volksoper soprano Barbara Payha will get LE GRAND BAL of the HOFBURG Vienna off to a rousing start with a rendition of Je Veux Vivre aria from Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. “All of these performances will make the event a nuit de l'amour from beginning to end,” Mrs Danler concluded. The artists’ imaginative costumes and creative hairstyles, and the striking headwear worn by the debutantes will make a lasting impression.
“The midnight show is a key part of the evening’s entertainment,” Mrs Danler explained. Traditional elements such as fireworks, the sounds of the Pummerin (boomer) bell at St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Blue Danube waltz will leave guests spellbound. At midnight it’s time for a string of pieces performed by soloists from the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper. Alexandra Reinprecht, Isabel Seebacher and Kip Wilborn will lead the way with renditions of arias from La Traviata, The Land of Smiles, The Tales of Hoffmann and Die Fledermaus. Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer, head of the Elmayer dance school, will lead the public quadrille. Ballgoers will be treated to music from a range of genres including classics by the Vienna Opera Ball Orchestra under Uwe Theimer, as well as waltz, jazz and swing interpretations courtesy of the Broadway Big Band and the Bela Fischer Quartet.
The gourmet New Year’s Eve gala dinner comes courtesy of HOFBURG Vienna catering partner, GERSTNER. DO & CO’s Demel café will serve a range of coffee varieties to suit every taste. Meanwhile, at the COPALOCA chillout lounge, guests can savour Happy New Year cocktails and dance to hot rhythms until the early hours.
“LE GRAND BAL of the HOFBURG Vienna appeals to guests from Austria and abroad who are looking for a high-quality ball experience and have yet to find anything comparable in the Austrian capital on New Year’s Eve,” Mrs Danler explained. Guests at LE GRAND BAL of the HOFBURG Vienna can choose between a Grand Ticket with gala dinner (admission 19:30), a Star Ticket with seat reservation and a Circle Ticket (both admission 22.00). Reservations are highly encouraging, with 2,500 guests expected at this stage. The numerous package offers including hotel and cultural highlights are proving extremely popular.
There are also a number of exciting events to enjoy in the run up to the New Year’s Eve ball. “In October we are hosting a debutante casting event, and will be inviting selected partners to join us for a sample of what’s to come at the LE GRAND BAL gala dinner. And it is a great honour that the event is being held under the patronage of Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer,” Mrs Danler concluded. We are also pleased to reveal that leading figures from the worlds of business, politics, science and the arts will be working alongside him on the honorary and executive committees.
About Renate Danler:
Mrs Danler, a native of Tyrol, was appointed Director of Wiener Kongresszentrum Hofburg Betriebsgesellschaft mbH in March 2007. In addition to a number of appointments abroad, she worked as director of tourism in Kitzbühel and Alpbach. During her time in Alpbach she presided over the construction of the town’s conference centre, before going on to head the facility for more than a year. The economics graduate learned her trade in a number of senior management positions at the Congress Innsbruck conference centre. Mrs Danler’s arrival in 2007 ushered in a new era for the HOFBURG Vienna, and she sees the premiere of LE GRAND BAL of the HOFBURG Vienna as an exciting new challenge.
HOFBURG Vienna – the Viennese ball season:
Vienna’s Hofburg is the capital’s finest ball venue, and hosts 22 balls a year. During the Fasching carnival season it provides the setting for a succession of glittering ball nights complete with formal opening ceremonies, midnight shows and the ever-popular public quadrilles. Each year the Viennese ball season draws more than 60,000 visitors to the Hofburg, inducing around EUR 10 million in GDP.
Ms Claudia Reis
Press office and PR
T +43 1 5873666 37