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The roots of the Vienna State Opera Ballet Academy date back to 1771, making this institution one of the most traditional training centers for classical dance, along with the schools in Paris and St. Petersburg. It began with a "Theatrical Dance School" established by Empress Maria Theresa, where eight boys and eight girls were taught daily by two ballet teachers under the supervision of Jean Georges Noverre. Noverre's school was short-lived - after his departure from Vienna in 1774, it was disbanded.

In the 19th century, a ballet school was only loosely affiliated with the Kärntnertortheater. It was only after the opening of the Haus am Ring in 1870 that the school was institutionalized by the "Organizational Statute for the Ballet Dance School at the Imperial and Royal Court Opera Theater." Classes were held in the ballet hall of the opera house.

The institute, which had been called the "Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera" since 1918, was renamed the "Ballet School of the Austrian Federal Theaters" in 1973 and moved into its own rooms at Goethegasse 1 (1st district) in 1980.

Since an organizational restructuring in 1999 it was again called "Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera" and after a new restructuring in 2013 it was renamed "Ballet Academy of the Vienna State Opera".

The cooperation between the Ballet Academy and the Bundesrealgymnasium mit musischer Ausbildung, Vienna 3, Boerhaavegasse 15, with its attached boarding school, which has existed since 1983, allows for an optimal school education with Matura graduation. Through an additional cooperation with the secondary school "die Renngasse" there is also the possibility for the students of the Ballet Academy since September 2011 to complete the compulsory school (from 10 - 14 years). The middle school "die Renngasse" supports students in achieving their ambitious ballet and educational goals.


Carl Telle (bis 1890)
Josef Hassreiter (1891-1919)
Carl Raimund sen. (1919-1924)
Heinrich Kröller (1924-1928)
Leo Dubois (1928-1931)
Toni Birkmeyer (1931-1934)
Margarete Wallmann (1934-1937)
Willy Fränzl (1937-1943)
Erika Hanka (1943-1958)
Dimitrije Parlic (1958-1961)
Harijs Plucis (1961-1964; deputy director 1964-1966)
Aurel von Milloss (1964-1966; 1972-1974)
Alexander Ursuliak (1966-1972)
Edeltraud Brexner (deputy director 1973-1979)
Dr. Gerhard Brunner (1976-1979)
Dr. Gottfried Heindl (1979-1989)
Ludmilla Petrowa (artistic and pedagogical director 1979-1985)
Michael Birkmeyer (1985-2001)
Renato Zanella (artistic director 2001-2005)
Jolantha Seyfried (executive director 2004-2010)
Gyula Harangozó (artistic director 2005-2010)
Manuel Legris (artistic director 2010-2019)
Simona Noja-Nebyla (director 2010-2019)
Directorate of the Vienna State Opera (interim. artistic director 2019-2020)
Simone Wohinz (interim. director 2019-2020)
Gabor Oberegger (interim. artistic coordinator 2020-2020)
Martin Schläpfer (artistic director 2020 - )
Christiana Stefanou (director 2020 - )
Gabor Oberegger (deputy director and coordinator 2020 - 2021)