The Styrian rock band Opus has shaped the Austrian music scene for nearly half a century. Last year Ewald “Sunny” Pfleger, Herwig Tremschnig aka Rüdisser, Kurt-Rene Plisnier and Günter Grasmuck toured a farewell tour. On Tuesday, Hermann Schutzenhofer (ÖVP), who was still governor, presented the “troupe of cult status” with the gold medal for services to the Republic of Austria.
In his tribute in the auditorium of the University of Old Graz, Schutzenhofer said that Opus was one of the great musicians of this country and one of the few who managed to reach a world beyond the German-speaking world. The success story of Opus, founded in 1973 in a garage, began with the movie “Live Is Life”, which premiered in 1984 at an outdoor festival in Obervart, Burgenland. The number later developed into an international, anthem and box office hit, but it was also an artistic burden, because the band’s rich business took a back seat to them.
With “Daydreams,” the first album enriched with classic elements, or later with catchy tunes like “Eleven,” “Flyin’ High,” or “Gimme Love,” Opus has played front rows of alpine pop and rock. To date, Opus has sold more than two million albums out of more than a dozen albums produced, and “Live Is Life” has sold more than 30 million copies. There are also about 1,000 concerts – including some in South America. The channel in Chile was broadcast live on television and was watched by millions of Latin Americans, and the channel at Paramount Studios in Hollywood also had an audience of millions.
In addition to various artistic productions, the troupe also has a social commitment: for example, a school was built in Ethiopia with the Karlheinz Böhm organization “Menschen für Menschen”. Recently, the band members have also campaigned for climate protection.
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