Jen’s Jibberish: Want to score? Get her tickets to the Viennese Opera Ball

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Ok, so we’re down to the wire here.  If you are in a last minute panic, can’t get out to a shop and are scrambling to come up with an original yet romantic gift, how about taking a new approach to Valentine’s Day?

Last weekend, I had the incredible experience of attending the Viennese Opera Ball, held at the National Gallery.  It is an annual event that has been taking place since 1996 and it is actually one of only five international Viennese Balls officially sanctioned by the Austrian government.  (You can read more about Vienna and the ball season in the current print issue of Ottawa Life.)

It was an absolutely enchanting evening and everything you would expect a ball to be.  In fact, it was pure magic. With waltzes, amazing Austrian/Canadian cuisine and incredible music, including The Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and The Stevens and Kennedy Band. The event even featured opera thanks to the members of the Opera Lyra Ottawa Studio program, whose beautiful voices filled the Great Hall.

So this year, why not surprise your honey with the promise of a couple of tickets to next year’s event?  Print off some photos from the web site (, put them in a card and voilà, you have the perfect Valentine’s Day gift that will involve two nights of fabulous instead of just one.

As if that is not enough, you will be helping the arts community in Ottawa.  There were two charitable beneficiaries this year, Opera Lyra Ottawa Studio Program ( for aspiring young opera singers and OrKidstra (, a musical instruction and instrument program for children in the city who could not otherwise afford it.

Keep an eye out next January for Jen’s Jibberish on OLM where all the details for next year’s Viennese Opera Ball will be posted. In the meantime, surprise your partner with that new approach to the Day of Love.