Opera’s biggest current scandal is Cologne

Opera’s biggest current scandal is Cologne


norman lebrecht

January 27, 2023

Ten years ago, the city of Cologne commissioned a refurbishment of its ghastly modern opera house.

The approved budget was 288 million Euros.

Last night, the city of Cologne signed off the latest estimated cost: 665 million euros.

Someone has not been telling the truth. They never do when cultural buildings are involved.


  • Singeril says:

    Not just cultural building projects….ANY building project in which the government is involved.

  • Just Saying... says:

    For context, that’s more than what it would cost to build Sydney Opera House from scratch today…

  • TNVol says:

    I’ve seen better architectural aesthetics in elementary schools on the American plains built at 20% of that budget.

  • Scenic.Dom says:

    Background to that: They’re trying to keep up with Dusseldorf at all costs, no matter how unsuccessful their efforts might be.

    • NRW ite says:

      Actually Düsseldorf signed off on a new opera house in 2019 instead of a renovation because of the Cologne scandal, looking at these sort of problems it makes sense to just build from scratch with a big publicity project from an architect who really wants it to be good publicity instead of renovating a house that already has serious technical problems!