In the beginning of The Living Daylights, Bond is attending a concert in Bratislava where the Russian general Koskov is about to defect. Bond is informed that a sniper has been assigned to watch Koskov and Bond is there to protect the general. The concert has already begun when Bond arrives in taxi. Saunders is annoyed. Like all of the Bratislava scenes, the action around the concert hall was filmed in Vienna, Austria, where the actual opera house is located.
The conservatory is in fact the Vienna People’s Opera, also called Volksoper Wien. In the film, the words “Ľudové konzervatorium” can be read on the building. This means People’s Conservatory and is almost the same as the original German name. The Volksoper gives about three hundred performances during each annual season. The building is located in the ninth district of Vienna, called Alsergrund, approximately 15 minutes from the Vienna city center by tram. The red trams seen in the film still pass the Volksoper.
“Koskov will leave the concert at the interval”
-Saunders to Bond-
The opera house was constructed during the last years of the 19th century and began with opera performances in the early 1900’s. The first Viennese performance of Tosca was given at the Volksoper in 1907. The building itself and the surroundings have changed very little since the film, apart from the tree in front of the entrance, which has grown substantially since 1987.
|Ľudové konzervatorium – The People’s Conservatory|
Bond and Saunders are watching Koskov’s escape from a balcony across the street when Bond spots Kara. She is sitting in the center window on the third floor of the conservatory.
“Sniper! Two floors up, center window.”
-Bond to Saunders-
This location is very enjoyable and of course it is a must see when one is in Vienna. There are shows regularly on the repertoire, almost every day, and before our visit to Vienna we had bought tickets to Le Nozze di Figaro which we enjoyed at the Volksoper one evening. During the interval you can stand on the balcony on the second floor with a drink or walk up to the third floor and enjoy the view from Kara’s window. Behind the window you can actually find one of the bars so this space is also open to the public.
The surroundings of the Volksoper will be covered later.