In Vienna, they queue round the block… for the opera brochure

In Vienna, they queue round the block… for the opera brochure


norman lebrecht

April 06, 2016

Minutes after the new season announcement, this was the box-office queue in Vienna today.

Not for opera tickets.

For the chance to buy a new-season brochure (price: 6 €).

Wien, du allein…

vienna queue



  • Stefan Treddel says:

    Wien, Wien, nur du allein… That’s how the song goes!

    • Jaybuyer says:

      Stefan, you’re getting very picky

    • Sue says:

      I lived in Vienna for 12 months in 2011 and I can testify to how valued tickets and subscriptions (Abonnements) are for serious music in that wonderful city. I often had to beg, borrow or steal to get a seat at the very back of the Musikverein to the VPO, if the concert wasn’t actually under the aegis of the Musikverein itself.

      • Stefan Treddel says:

        These people are not waiting in line for the brochure only but to order tickets! See the post of the Wiener Staatsoper on Facebook: Impression vom heutigen späten Vormittag: Eine lange Schlange geduldiger Opernfans wartet vor der Kassenhalle auf den Bestellstart für die Saison 2016/2017. Das ist Wien!

  • Halldor says:

    In the UK, the annual Proms programme goes on sale through high street bookstores and usually tops the paperback non-fiction bestsellers chart. Seems a slightly more efficient way of organising it.

  • Una says:

    Looks like a queue for Betty’s in Harrogate!!!

  • Pedro says:

    When I was young, one of the best record shops in the world used to be there, on the left (Da Caruso ) and it seems that internet is not very much used in Vienna.

  • Marg says:

    How fantastic there is such interest. We certainly dont see anyone queuing at the Sydney Opera House!

    • CDH says:

      In Canada we don’t have to queue. And the season brochures — usually very high-gloss productions — are free. As are concert programmes.

      • Sue says:

        Do you think there’s possibly a relationship between queuing and very substantial demand? I’ve bought tickets in Vienna online and it’s not the best way to go; the sites often go down due to demand and you cannot get the seats you want anyway. Always better to talk to somebody.

  • John Borstlap says:

    It should not be forgotten that physical queueing is psychologically related to physically attending a physical performance, in contrast to sitting at home and exploring your CD collection. Queueing, getting tired and irritated, then getting into a real shop and buying a physical brochure and tickets over a real counter and discussing the seats with a person of flesh and blood, is an excellent preparation for the Real Thing, especially in Vienna were most things are Real, a commodity which is becoming rare in the modern world.