Vienna set to party like it's 1899

Wed Feb 6, 2013 9:24am EST
 
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By Michael Shields

VIENNA (Reuters) - Attending this year's Vienna Opera Ball will be a dream come true for Oscar-winning U.S. actress Mira Sorvino, she said on Wednesday as the Austrian capital put the finishing touches on it most glittering social event.

"I feel like I'm going to be in a fairy tale ball, like Cinderella walking into the ball," she told reporters.

"I just hope I am able to do the waltz correctly."

Reports about which big names were coming and what they would wear to Thursday's dance have saturated Austrian media for days. The posh affair - boxes cost up to 18,500 euros ($25,000) each - gets live television coverage that last year drew 1.6 million viewers in a country of 8.4 million.

German fashion designer Harald Gloeoeckler plans to arrive in a carriage drawn by six horses and with six footmen in rococo costumes, he told the Heute newspaper.

"The Opera Ball stands for radiance and glamour like no other event in the world except perhaps the Oscars. It takes place in a wonderful city and traditional location. And no prizes are awarded, so no one has to fear going empty-handed. You simply have to be there," he said.

The dress code for the sold-out ball is white tie and tails for men, long evening gowns for women.

Sorvino is the guest of Vienna construction magnate and socialite Richard Lugner, 80, who invites famous people each year to accompany him to the opulent event. He is also bringing in Italian film actress Gina Lollobrigida this year.   Continued...

 
U.S. actress Mira Sorvino grimaces during a news conference in Vienna February 6, 2013. Attending this year's Vienna Opera Ball will be a dream coming true, she said on Wednesday as the Austrian capital put the finishing touches on its most glittering social event. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader