Richard Strauss


Friday 15. September 2023 20:00 – 21:45 No intermissions Main Stage
30 Minuten vor der Vorstellung
im Gustav Mahler-Saal
Subscription 5

Ticket information

Season 2023/2024

Choose a day of the week and your favorite seats and enjoy five performances in one season.

The following performances are included in this subscription:

15. September 2023: DAPHNE
13. October 2023: IL TRITTICO
01. December 2023: DON PASQUALE
21. June 2024: FALSTAFF


Season 2024/2025

Choose a day of the week and your favorite seats and enjoy five performances in one season.

The following performances are included in this subscription:

18. October 2024: COSÌ FAN TUTTE
17. January 2025: TURANDOT
21. March 2025: L’ELISIR D’AMORE
11. April 2025: BALLET: PATHÉTIQUE
23. May 2025: NORMA

Cast at
15. September 2023


Nicolas Joel


Pet Halmen


Renato Zanella

About the Production

Short Summary

Daphne is a classic nymph from Greek mythology who rejects the advances of the god Apollo and flees into the forest to preserve her independence.

Apollo laments her fate and finally transforms her into a laurel tree in order to preserve her forever. The opera explores the themes of nature, love and the transience of life in a rich musical portrayal.



The stage depicts a salon "à la grec". In the dark twilight, a young woman lies on a couch in the middle of the salon in a dreamy pose. The salon is dominated by two large antique statues; at the feet of Apollo, seated in a chair, a dark figure can be guessed. The young woman moves restlessly in her sleep. Is she dreaming?

The man watching her - is it her husband? A lonely oboe sounds. The figures in the murals seem to be alive. The statue of Dionysus, whose gaze is directed at the sleeping woman, glows in the dark. Voices reach the woman's ears through the walls. She sits up, the painted trees magically attract her and she wistfully laments: "O stay, beloved day".

She fears the night, especially the night that is now falling. The wall becomes transparent. A young man lies in the leaves, suddenly rises and approaches the singer. The veil between them falls, and from now on the two levels merge. The woman becomes Daphne, the young man is Leukippos, the mother becomes Gaea, the father becomes Peneios, the husband is transformed into Apollo. When Leukippos becomes intrusive, Daphne escapes the reality of the salon. Leukippos complains to the maids who enter. They advise him to put on Daphne's clothes in order to approach her. Peneios arrives with his shepherds and sings of the beauty of Olympus. The idyll is disturbed by the appearance of a stranger. It is Apollo in disguise.

Startled, everyone flees. As he remains alone for a moment, he reproaches himself for having humiliated himself. Daphne rises from her bed. In the magical light of the moon, the sight of her reminds Apollo of his sister Artemis. He is seized with great affection for her. But Daphne is a little suspicious of this man. The stranger confesses to her that he knows her well and repeats some of the words she had addressed to daylight (when she first appeared). Believing that she has found a kindred spirit in Apollo, she sinks to his chest. But when he kisses her longingly, she wants to flee.

The festival in honor of the god Dionysus begins. A large mask appears. Fauns and nymphs leap out of its mouth, a large fountain of wine is brought and everyone gets drunk. Among them is the disguised Leukippos, who approaches Daphne with flattery. Deeply attached, they are drawn to this "girl". They begin to dance. When Daphne tries to remove the mask from the stranger's face, Leukippos brutally defends himself and throws Daphne to the ground in order to rape her. At this moment, Apollo sees through Leukippos' disguise and bursts into a scream of rage. He conjures up a thunderstorm and everyone runs away, leaving only Daphne, Apollo and Leukippos behind. Leukippos demands that Apollo reveal his identity.

When Daphne demands the same, he reveals himself: "I am Apollo, the god of the sun and daylight". Leukippos curses the god, who then kills him. Daphne, who mourns the corpse of her former playmate, now realizes that she belongs to him. She bitterly rejects Apollo's courtship. Deeply moved, he begs the gods to forgive him for his betrayal of this mortal. He asks his father Zeus to turn Daphne into a laurel tree. Its branches are to adorn the foreheads of the noblest men and as a sister she is to be bound to Apollo. Daphne's transformation begins. Her voice can still be heard for a while. The wall closes. The man sits in the dark room, but the couch is empty.

Total 105 MIN

With Strauss, nothing is irreconcilable, everything is reconcilable. He made the Salome-Elektra music, wild, sultry, perverse and a worldwide success - he made the Daphne music, slender, narrow, bucolic and not such a great success. But very appropriate for his age, an honest conversion. The Daphne music is not all that chaste either. In all the right places, the younger, sensual Strauss breaks through anyway and provides the necessary contrast to the chastity of his age. Strauss remains Strauss. And that's a good thing.

With Daphne, Richard Strauss succeeded in creating a true masterpiece, a late masterpiece in which the 70-year-old composer bundled the wealth of experience of his entire life as a composer. Building on this, director Nicolas Joel succeeded convincingly in telling the Greek myth of the virgin Daphne, who escapes the intrusiveness of the god Apollo by transforming herself into a laurel tree, as the daydream of a sexually neglected young woman.

© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper


Tickets for our standing room can be purchased online or at the Bundestheater box office from 10 am on the day of the performance. BundestheaterCard holders can book standing room tickets online the day before the performance.

In addition, a fixed contingent of standing room tickets is available for regular evening performances from 80 minutes before the start of the performance at our standing room box office (Operngasse entrance).

Our operas are sung in the original languages - these vary depending on the work.

At each seat, subtitles in different languages can be switched on or off via a separate subtitle screen. In addition to the original language of the opera, you can choose from up to eight languages: German, English, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin).

In the event of a change of performance, you can of course return or exchange your tickets.

As changes to the cast cannot be ruled out due to illnesses or other hindrances of artists, there is no entitlement to a refund of the ticket price or exchange in this case.

Tickets cannot be returned or exchanged if you are not admitted to the auditorium due to being late (even after the interval).

About Your Visit


The cloakrooms are located next the the entrances at the Operngasse. You can find additional cloakrooms on the left and right side of the balcony and the gallery and in the boxes. All cloakrooms are free of charge.

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