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Plan now for a New Year's eve in Vienna

Question: I would like information on how to obtain tickets for next New Year's Eve performance of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Viennese winter balls in January and February. Answer: The performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony by the Vienna Symphony has been held for many years at the Konzert-Haus. For ticket information (prices, $7.50-$75) write to the Konzerthaus, 20 Lothringerstrasse, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

The winter balls start with the concert and continue until the day before Ash Wednesday. In 1991 Ash Wednesday will be on Feb. 20.

More than 300 balls will be held in the season. A ball calendar listing each event, with the address of its organizer and ticket information, is published in December and free each year from the Vienna Tourist Board, 5 Kinderspitalgase, A-1095 Vienna, Austria, or from the Austrian National Tourist Office, 500 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2009, New York, N.Y. 10110.

Tickets for the three major events _ the Opera Ball, the Ball of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Masked Ball _ should be ordered at least six months in advance.

The Opera Ball, considered one of Europe's most glamorous social occasions, is the highlight of the season. Dress code is formal. Tickets are $185. Reservations: Opernball-Buro, 1 Goethegasse, A-1010 Vienna, Austria.

Archaeological tours

Question: Do you know of any Mediterranean tours that allow members to take part in archaeological digs?

Answer: Most countries are very strict about access to sites of historical and archaeological interest and do not welcome untutored help at digs. It might be possible, however, to write to the archaeology department of a university in the country that interests you and ask if, with a minimum of training, you might be allowed to take part.

Another, surer, way is to sign up with an expert in the field: Archeological Tours, 30 E 42nd St., Suite 1202, New York, N.Y. 10017; (212) 986-3054. The agency arranges tours to Asia, South America, the Middle East and Europe, and this year at least one trip offers hands-on experience.

The tour, Sept. 30-Oct. 19, starts in Cairo, travels to Luxor, Aswan, Ismailia and the Sinai and then crosses into Israel, with visits to Eilat, Sodom and Jerusalem. On Oct. 16 participants get the opportunity to join an excavation at Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The tour will be led by Prof. Eliezer Oren, professor of Near Eastern archaeology at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Land costs for the tour are $3,190. Air fare from New York is $972. Single supplement is $475.

Send questions to Q&A, Travel Section, the New York Times, 229 W 43rd St., New York, N.Y. 10036. Questions may be answered only through the column, not by mail or telephone.

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