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The Opera Ball is opened by the Austrian president and features a musical program with soloists and artists from the Vienna Philharmonic and State Ballet before the debutantes lead into the festivities with a Strauss waltz.

The 18-to-24-year-olds spend weeks rehearsing for a performance that lasts just three or four minutes but has a huge audience at home and abroad.

The traditional ball takes place on Feb. 27, with tickets starting at $340 and a box as much as $25,000.

Workers lay the dance floor in the opera house in Vienna on Feb. 25.HEINZ-PETER BADER / Reuters
Members of the opening committee perform during a rehearsal for the Opera Ball in Vienna on Feb. 23.HEINZ-PETER BADER / Reuters
Members of the opening committee perform during the final rehearsal for the Opera Ball inside the opera house in Vienna on Feb. 26.HEINZ-PETER BADER / Reuters
Members of the opening committee dance past a lost shoe during the final rehearsal for the Opera Ball inside the opera house in Vienna on Feb. 26.HEINZ-PETER BADER / Reuters