vienna - The 56th vienna opera ball opened late Thursday with a heady mix of culture , glamour and politics, the Austrian capital shaken not stirred as a James Bond mingled with the celebrity guests.
French maestro Georges Pretre, 87, and Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu provided the artistic openers at this year’s opera ball , the highlight of Vienna’s ball season.
“For opera singers vienna is a sort of Mecca,” explained Gheorghiu, who performed in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 7,000 at the vienna State opera building festooned with at least 50,000 flowers. She received ovations — including from the 144 debutante couples all dolled up in full evening wear — for her interpretations ranging from an aria from Bizet’s “Carmen” to “I could have danced all night” from Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady”.