BackstageThe backstage area was newly constructed during the postwar period, using the existing foundations. Desperately needed rehearsal space was added to the original design, in addition to a cafeteria and several administrative rooms. Most of the premises, including the dressing rooms, were equipped with speakers and a video monitoring system, which allows the performers and stagehands to constantly observe the stage.
In the summer months from 1991 to 1993, and during a six month period in 1994, the Vienna State Opera experienced extensive renovation work. In order to create more precise and trouble-free backstage operations, hydraulically operated lifting platforms and electromechanical lifts were installed using the latest technology. The power supply to the State Opera, which was previously sourced by the Hofburg, is now operated by two substations. In addition to these measures, a new heating system, ventilation system, fire protection system and fire detection system were installed and remain completely invisible to the audience. Other auditorium renovations, such as painting and the installation of new box seating also took place.
During the six month period in 1994 when the State Opera was closed for renovations, a previously unused space was acoustically adapted into a beautiful new rehearsal hall. On September 1, 1995, this hall was named "Probebühne Eberhard Waechter" (Rehearsal Stage Eberhard Waechter), to keep the memory of the late singer and opera director alive.
On November 2, 2004, the largest rehearsal stage in the Vienna State Opera, was renamed “Carlos Kleiber Probebühne” (Rehearsal Stage Carlos Kleiber). In this way, the memory of the extraordinary conductor will be upheld.
In addition to these rehearsal stages, the State Opera now has three halls for ensemble rehearsals, with space for a choir and an orchestra, and also the Organ Hall on the sixth floor. The Organ Hall received its name from the 2,500 pipe organ that it houses. The Vienna State Opera is the world’s only opera house with such a large pipe organ. The hall is not only used for rehearsals, but also during performances where the sound will actually transfer into the auditorium. Other “live” acoustic impressions are created in the hall, such as the hammering of the anvils in Wagner's "Rheingold”. The State Opera additionally holds ten acoustically isolated individual practice rooms, and both a large and a small ballet rehearsal hall.