In Vienna, opera is sacred and a visit to the prime venue in the city is a highlight of any trip. With musicians from Vienna Philharmonic in the pit, and the leading opera stars of the world on stage, combined with generous  government subsidies, the results are legendary. The audience, decked out in their finery, are just as interesting to observe as the performers. The Staatsoper ballet company have also experienced a recent renaissance under the leadership of Manuel Legris, bringing them long-sought-after international acclaim. The Staatsoper stages more than 70 productions a year of opera and ballet and, with 1,700 seats and 560 standing-room places, performs for about 10,000 theatre-goers a week. Daily performances run from September 1 until the end of June; with a little planning, tickets are to be had for almost any performance up to a month in advance, although many sell out. And if you're tight for cash, last-minute tickets cost €45 (€7–€11 for students) and 80 minutes before the performance standing-room tickets are always €3 to €4. Tours of the beautiful building are offered in the off-season, July and August.