Bad ads: Vienna State Opera is now selling cars

Bad ads: Vienna State Opera is now selling cars


norman lebrecht

May 19, 2021

The hallowed facade of Vienna’s opera house has been leased out to motor dealers.

Can it possibly get any more tacky?

And such cheap cars, to boot.


  • Alexander says:

    what a disgrace …

  • RW2013 says:

    The noisy, unmusical and primitive Lexus ad before every streamed performance was never anything less than an insult to the senses.

  • Brian says:

    Carnegie Hall has advertised for cars around opening night but they usually would just park the vehicle in front and let people gawk at it. I believe I’ve seen a car or two in the lobby of Geffen Hall as well.

  • V.Lind says:

    They will probably turn out to be major sponsors. It’s a two-way street.

    • Bill says:

      Yes, but how many lanes?

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      Lexus has been a major sponsor of the Wiener Staatsoper for many years.
      The irony is that this carbuncle billboard overlooks Herbert von Karajan Platz.
      The esteemed automobile connoisseur maestro was often seen behind the wheel of his Ferrari, Porsche or Rolls-Royce.
      Although Lexus cars first appeared the year HvK died, the idea of his being even remotely associated with a company owned by Toyota would be as unthinkable as asking him to test drive aTrabi.

  • Monsoon says:

    Maybe not tacky, but in 2019 I attend a Philadelphia Orchestra concert; almost all of the advertisements in the program book were for assisted living facilities. The person next to me said that was normal.

    It was pretty sad.

    Maybe most outrageous, was soon after Credit Suisse was caught helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions, it became the global sponsor of the New York Philharmonic.

  • Jack says:


  • caranome says:

    Everyone is treating the opera house/orchestra hall as some hallowed religious ground that should not be sullied by…horrors! money. The day has arrived when management needs to maximize income from its great asset the building. Bar mitzvas, weddings, conferences will earn huge amounts of money to plug the financial hole most houses are in. Absolutely stupid not to monetize an idle asset. Boston Symphony is the most profitable org. in the US because of the goldmine that is the Boston Pops; the music, food and liquor–the highest margin item anywhere (with possible exception of cocaine & perfume) all going straight to the bottom line since vast majority of cost is fixed and sunken.

    • Monsoon says:

      I’d argue that the biggest mistake performing arts organizations keep making, is that when they raise hundreds of millions of dollars to build new complexes, they don’t raise extra money to buy neighboring parcels of land to use for for-profit, revenue generating ventures. For example, when Lincoln Center was built, just imagine if they bought up all of the surrounding land. They wouldn’t have to fundraise with all of the money they’d be making from commercial real estate. (This isn’t a novel idea — playhouse square in Cleveland pretty much did this.)

  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    This is NOT on the façade of Staatsoper: it is on the side of Herbert von Karajan-Platz, above where the Arcadia book/CD/DVD shop was located. Most people heading to the opera or ballet will enter on the Ringstraße main entrance and net even see it.

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      While Anonymous Bosch is technically correct that the hideous hoarding is not on the Ringstraße façade of the Staatsoper, it is actually much more visible as anyone exiting the U-Bahn Oper station and walking towards the Kärntner Straße could not possibly avoid seeing it on their left.
      It is also directly opposite the venerable K.u.K Café-Konditorei Gerstner and would surely cause any post-Apfelstrudel and Einspänner imbiber severe dyspepsia on sight.
      Of course it could be worse – Bogdan Roščić could have put a second-hand Yugo up there instead.