ArtistVienna State Opera Orchestra

The Vienna State Opera Orchestra not only has ties to the Vienna State Opera, but to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which draws its membership exclusively from its operatic cousin. The VSOO consists of 149 members and is regarded by many as the finest opera orchestra in the world. It has been an organization steeped in tradition, sometimes to its detriment: women were banned from playing in the orchestra until 1997. Yet its performances, both operatic and orchestral, have long been widely acclaimed by both critics and public alike. Because the Vienna State Opera has a very full schedule of operas -- more than 50 productions every year, and about 200 performances that run from September 1 to June 30 -- the VSOO's performances have been largely limited to operatic productions. Yet the ensemble has made more than 300 recordings over the years, many devoted strictly to orchestral music.