Causes for concern over Vienna Opera’s cover image

Causes for concern over Vienna Opera’s cover image


norman lebrecht

April 27, 2020

This is the image chosen by Bogdan Roscic’s team to introduce his first season as head of the Vienna Opera.

We’re hearing rumbles of concern in Vienna about the appropriateness of the image.

The first suggests that the Staatsoper is more Sound of Music than Meistersinger.

The other is to do with the camera angle, which some find a tad indecent.

Your thoughts?


  • anya says:

    Anybody who gives a crap needs to check their privilege. Farmers are throwing out crops, people are without work or any chance to work. And over here in classical music, hands are being wrung over what is a “tad indecent” or too “Sound of Music”? Get over yourselves

    • Murdoch says:

      My exact first thoughts and I am relieved and grateful to find that not only was this stated by someone already (first comment, too), but that at least 12 others agree so far.

  • Fiddlist says:

    I thought “Covid 19 is sending us over a cliff.”

  • Stehplatz says:

    This is very easy:
    A girl (Madame) is flying. The flower is a Butterblume.
    Madame Butterfly ist the first Premiere (Sept 7th)

  • Gustavo says:

    “Auf, nach der Wies – schnell auf die Füss!” (Sachs)

    Uplifting upskirting?

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    I agree with NL’s comment, but the coice of that image seems to be effective and successful. It creates discussion in the net, in SD for example.

  • Ron Swanson says:

    It’s part of series of photographs by Tereza Vlčková, a one point a fashionable Czech photographer. I think the shot is about 10 years old.

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    SD has given it the oxygen of publicity

  • Ewa says:

    An advertisement of Converse shoes? 😉

  • The future belongs to such as these. says:

    The image is brilliant for its own sake and probably reflects how many young people attend the opera these days. The price of a pair Chuck Taylor’s Converse Sneakers which is actually what is most obscene, so she can probably afford the price of a ticket. I find the image of a ginger haired Pippi Long Stocking flying through the Austrian countryside quite refreshing and a symbol of hope and faith in the future. If you see indecency in any way shape or form, then perhaps you should consider keeping your puritanical comments to yourself or visit your local Sigmund Freud. I hope the future of the Vienna State Opera of bright and fruitful.

  • mary says:

    She’s probably wearing compression shorts underneath that dress, before you let your imagination go too wild here. Frankly, she is less revealing than too many wearing their translucent jujulemon tights gallivanting around town, supermarkets, yoga studios, gyms, malls, starbucks….

  • John Borstlap says:

    I think the lady embraces sustainable environment programming.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Bogdan Roscic is hailed here as the new Peter Gelb.

  • Les. says:

    Great photo. I’d go to the opera every night if I thought i could cop another look at that.

  • CRMH says:

    Julie Andrews would never have been seen in sneakers!

  • Bruce says:

    What it immediately brought to mind for me was something like “Opera can make you fly” or “Opera can open up whole new vistas to you” and/or “Opera can make you see the familiar world in a whole new way.” The girl is obviously embarking on an adventure.

    Seriously, I don’t understand the fuss about the picture. Sure, you can see a bit of thigh. So what? A thigh is no more sexual than a shoulder. Women are routinely expected to pose for publicity pictures with their breasts bare almost to the nipples, and nobody seems scandalized by that. Her legs aren’t spread, you can’t even see underwear. Her pose is clearly not any kind of sexual invitation. If you can see indecency in this, then you can see indecency in anything.

    • John Borstlap says:

      I always feel deeply offended when waiting for the bus at a stop with large fotos of bras. I don’t know where to look.


  • David J Llewellyn says:

    I don’t see it as being indecent so much as being at an odd angle. Perhaps the fact that it is an unusual angle it was, therefore, meant to capture the attention of the viewer, as if they’re about to fly off into the world of Opera?

  • Ivar says:

    I loved the photo- the whole composition, the camera angle, soaring high above the verdant expanse, everything. Can’t really understand the negative feelings about it.

  • fflambeau says:

    Is that Julie Andrews flying?

  • HW says:

    Honi soit qui mal y pense