Brunch at the Opera

by NAA

Opern Graz

A couple of weeks ago, David treated me to a brunch at the opera. While we had no idea what to expect, the excursion exceeded whatever preconceptions we may have had and proved a perfect Sunday morning.

The Grazer Oper (Graz Opera) is the second largest opera house in Austria, next to the Vienna Opera, of course. Designed in the Baroque style by Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer, Graz’s Opera house opened in 1899.

Opera Balcony

We toured the building, including some sneak peeks backstage as the crew prepared for that evening’s showing of Singin’ In The Rain.

Opera Stage

Bombing during WWII severely damaged the portico, which was later reconstructed with a simplified (but in my opinion lovely) façade. The interior of the building, however, remained untouched by the destruction endured by the exterior.

Opera Balcony

The luxurious marble and gilded woodwork of the foyer and auditorium,

Opera Seating

as well as the rich textiles and elaborate ceilings, show off the resurgence of the extravagant Rococo style in Austria at the time.

Opera Ceiling

After our tour, we were seated at a table for two, in the lovely Hall of Mirrors near a window overlooking the long palaces that line the Innere Stadt where we live.

The buffet featured a delectable assortment of local specialties from the fall harvest including: fresh bread with local cheeses, cold cuts and a vinaigrette of pumpkin-seed oil and minced peppers; a peculiarly pink and delicious Schilcher cream soup; ravioli stuffed with roasted red beets; Knödel– (dumpling-) stuffed chicken breasts; Kastanientorte (chestnut cake); and Strüdel stuffed with Topfen (cheese curd) and Trauben (grapes).

Frühstücksbuffet

As if the luxurious ambiance and food weren’t enough, our romantic Sunday morning Frühstück included unlimited coffee and a series of live performances — an enchanting cello, piano and vocal ensemble, followed by three captivating arias from Handel’s Messiah.

As we strolled home through the neighborhood, the autumn weather provided a perfect, crisp finish to this sumptuously sensory experience.

[images by me]

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