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Opera Ball – Roland Granzer is Richard Logner's driver and stars

Opera Ball – Roland Granzer is Richard Logner's driver and stars

For 14 years, Rosenau's Roland Granzer has been the man who drives Richard Lugner and his dazzling star guests to operas at the Vienna State Opera in his limousines. This year he was allowed to drive the widow of Elvis Presley. For this purpose, a caricature of Loughner and Presley, drawn by former NÖN cartoonist Eric Schatz, was pasted on the limousine.

Roland Granzer and builder Richard Loughner.


Noon: What are your tasks during Opera Ball week?

Granzer: I accompanied Priscilla Presley for an entire week from her arrival at the airport until her departure on Friday morning. I'm basically a personal companion and I make sure that the stars get to the hairdresser, to their appointments like autograph sessions or press conferences in Lugner and of course to the opera safely.

Noon: Why the Amstetner number plate?

Granzer: There is a funny story about this. When I drove Mr. Loughner to the opera in my limousine for the first time, I reported to ORF: “Why does Mr. Loughner come to the opera in an Amstetner limousine? Aren't there such cars in Vienna?” So it became a tradition for the Amstetner limousine to take Mr. Loughner to the opera every year.


Roland Granzer and Priscilla Presley with the caricature drawn by Eric Schatz.


Noon: What moments do you particularly like to remember?

Granzer: I remember many beautiful and funny moments over the past few years. Last year, for example, I had to organize an electric BMW on the fly because Jane Fonda is a climate activist and didn't want to drive a limousine. Once, I walked hand in hand across Karntner Street with Goldie Hawn, unescorted, so that no one would recognize us. After we ate together at the Figlmüller restaurant, there were about 200 autograph seekers waiting outside the door – but I quickly took them through the back door of my car to the safety of the hotel.

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N: Are you also allowed into Mr. Loughner's opera box?

Granzer: Yes, of course. I am one of the most important people I trust during Mr. Laughner's opera week and I help him with everything. He also wants me to sit in the box next to the stars and talk to them and enjoy the evening.

NÖN: Are you looking forward to returning to the Mostviertel house again?

Granzer: After all the fuss, it's nice to go home and relax again. But I'm already looking forward to being there again next year.