Medallions & Reliefs
If you look at the wall on opposite side, you will see three high windows, leading to the emperor’s former court box salon, today’s tea salon. The windows had no lighting or ventilation function, but made it possible - theoretically - for the monarch to overlook the audience streaming in. At the same time, the imperial windows floated upwards above the spectators, forcing the view upwards.
To the left and right of the windows, two portrait medallions commemorate the architects of the Opera House, Eduard van der Nüll and August Sicard von Sicardsburg, neither of whom lived to see the opening of the Opera House.
Above them are two reliefs created by Johann Preleuthner, symbolizing the two music theatre genres »Ballet« and »Opera«, to which the Opera House is dedicated. Three large-format lunette murals by Franz Dobyaschofsky are set on top of them, with allegorical figures that refer once more to the content-related purpose of the Opera House: Tragic opera, comic opera and ballet.
The gallery on the first level is dominated by richly ornamented wall and ceiling paintings, with birds and fantasy creatures intermingled with twisting flowers and foliage. On the one hand, this area is intended for strolling; at the same time, the intermission rooms and the auditorium of the Haus am Ring can be reached from here.