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Culture for kids in Vienna

In Vienna, classical music is not just something for the grown-ups. Many of the capital’s most popular cultural institutions now offer programs that have been specially adapted with young people in mind.

The rooftop terrace of the State Opera house is home to a special venue reserved exclusively for young people. High above the streets, the Kinderopernzelt marquee offers a special line-up tailored for younger audiences.

In 2012 Richard Wagner's children's opera Die Feen (The Fairies) will be on the billing here. The Marionette Theater at Schönbrunn Palace provides a memorable experience for the entire family. In this imperial setting, the valuable marionettes are brought to life through a combination of traditional puppet mastery and state-of-the-art technology. Performances run throughout the year, with of The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus and Hansel and Gretel for children among the highlights.

The performances at the Volksoper Wien are not just for adults either. From time to time the stage is also given over to children's productions such as Edmund Gleede's Max and Moritz. Young music fans can get to know the Volksoper singers in person at the various workshops, and find out more about opera, ballet and the orchestra.

At the House of Music budding virtuosos can conduct the Vienna Philharmonic, give the timpani a whack or try their hand at making music on the computer - and even create their own CDs with compositions of their own to listen to later.

The Musikverein offers a range of projects for children and teenagers aged three to nineteen. Whatever the age group, participants are encouraged to get involved as much as possible - from singing and playing along for the youngest, right up to serious discussions with international conductors and soloists for 15 to 19-year-olds.

• Vienna State Opera, Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna, www.wiener-staatsoper.at
• Schönbrunn Palace, 1130 Vienna, www.marionettentheater.at
• Volksoper, Währinger Strasse 78, 1090 Vienna, www.volksoper.at
• House of Music, Seilerstätte 30, 1010 Vienna, www.hdm.at
• Musikverein, Bösendorferstrasse 12, 1010 Vienna, www.musikverein.at

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