The new Opera Foyer
In 2019, the Bundestheater-Holding commissioned the architectural firm »BWM Architekten«, winner of the previous architectural competition, to create a visitor centre in the new opera foyer; the opening of which took place on 9 December 2020.
The opera foyer houses the newly built café, a State Opera-owned store, a reading corner and the Federal Theater box offices. The former location of which was Operngasse 2.
The space is organized by a 20 meter long table in the center. In the daytime the intended purpose of the space focuses on information and ticket service, while after the ticket office closes the table is transformed into a bar, the hall is turned - like a stage - into a meeting place for the local cultural and music scene. The opera foyer is an inviting place for visitors to linger without barriers.
The design of this space reveals the new management’s desire to open the Opera House to everyone, to promote constant exchange between the public and interested parties, and to facilitate a dialogue between the cultural institution and urban life.
The interior design is based on both the original historic architecture and the spirit of the 1950s, the time of the reopening. The three frescoes in the upper section of the interior wall depict scenes from Mozart’s »Le nozze di Figaro«. They originate from an formerly twelve-part fresco cycle by Eduard Ritter von Engerth and were located in the so-called Kaisersaal (roughly on the site of today’s Marmorsaal). After the destruction of the building in 1945, three of these frescoes were saved and painstakingly transferred to the area of today’s opera foyer.