Grab your tux and gown for the Semper Opera Ball | Lifestyle | DW | 26.01.2018
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Grab your tux and gown for the Semper Opera Ball

Germany's most prestigious ball at the Semper Opera in Dresden is famous for its debutantes and high-caliber music performances. As the party starts on January 26, here's a look at Europe's top balls.

Billed as "biggest classical entertainment event in German-speaking Europe," the Semper Opera Ball is not just for socialites.

While 2,500 guests enjoy the black-tie cultural event inside the Dresden Opera House, another 15,000 are expected to watch the livestream from the square outside the hall and millions will tune in at home.

This year, Dutch violinist André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra are performing at the midnight concert, marking the group's 30th anniversary.

Ahmad Abdlli (middle) and his dance partner Theresa Funk (picture-alliance/dpa/O. Killig)

Syrian refugee Abdlli (middle) and his dance partner Theresa Funk will take part in this year's ball

Classic start

The event kicks off with the traditional entrance of 100 debutante couples, who, dressed in tuxedos and white gowns, present a 10-minute choreographed waltz that harkens back to a bygone era. This year, a 25-year-old Syrian refugee and dancer, Ahmad Abdlli, will be among them.

Each year, the event picks a chosen few to receive the St. George Medal, honoring them for their contributions to society. Among this year's recipients are football star Miroslav Klose, actors Veronica Ferres and Jürgen Prochnow, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

The Semper Opera Ball falls in the middle of the European ball season. Click through the gallery above for a look at other significant ball events in Germany and Austria. In the gallery below, discover more about the history of the Semper Opera.

cmk/eg (with dpa)

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