The orchestra's four September concerts in Sydney will cost the Opera House nearly $1.5 million. But Norman Gillespie, its chief executive, told the Sydney Morning Herald, "I nearly fell off my chair with unbridled excitement," after the Austrian ambassador phoned a year ago to discuss a possible tour, although he admitted that financially, the tour is "a big risk."
To recoup its costs, the house will need to sell 90 percents of tickets, which cost an unusually high $63-218—double the cost of tickets for the Sydney Symphony. If the concerts are successful, the Opera House may decide to invite other international orchestras to visit.
No major international orchestras have visited Sydney since a 2003 visit by the London Philharmonia, which was imported by the World Orchestras series. That series ended when a major sponsor could not be secured and ticket sales did not meet expectations.
Gillespie told the Herald that he is hoping the Vienna Philharmonic's household name status will ensure ticket sales. Conductor Valery Gergiev should also be another draw. He will lead the orchestra in two programs featuring Mozart's Symphony No. 36 ("Linz"). Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, Schumann's Manfred Overture, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9, and Brahms' Symphony No. 4.