Belles up for a new ball game

At the Vienna Opera Ball, Austria's most privileged debutantes represent a generation driven by a social conscience

"It's the biggest party in Europe and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Ms Viola Li, 21, one of the debutantes at this year's Vienna Opera Ball.

Like other Generation-Z debutantes, she is about to step out in three-quarter time to Carl Michael Ziehrer's Facherpolonaise, a standard score to mark the debutantes' stage entry at the Wiener Staatsoper or Vienna State Opera House.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 03, 2019, with the headline 'Belles up for a new ball game'. Print Edition | Subscribe