Opera can hold up a mirror to the world, but is not usually noted for its gunfights and action sequences.
Unless it’s the Vienna State Opera (Staatsoper), which played a major role in one of 2015’s biggest movies – Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation. So major in fact that the movie’s world premiere was actually held there:
This was, as the name suggests, the 5th movie in the MI franchise, starring Tom Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt, Simon Pegg as his able colleague Benji Dunn and Rebecca Ferguson as the mysterious British agent Ilsa Faust.
All three appeared in the Vienna scenes. These last around 20 minutes, and begin with an aerial view of the city’s old town at night – you can see the Stephansdom cathedral bottom left in the picture.
We then see Benji getting out of a subway train, making his way through the station to emerge in front of the Staatsoper.
This train is on the U2 line and the station is Schottenring. In real life, leaving the U2 at Schottenring would mean a long walk to the opera house. You should stay on the subway for another five stops to Karlsplatz (in the first train scene you can see Karlsplatz given as the final destination on the electronic platform signs).
A little later it is indeed the Karlsplatz station that Benji emerges from into the bright lights of what looks like a Staatsoper premiere, attended by the Austrian chancellor.
The action then switches inside the Staatsoper, where you can see the beautiful staircases and seating areas. The performance is Turandot by Puccini, perhaps most famous for the Nessun Dorma aria (which provides the musical backdrop to many of the subsequent scenes). The music is also Viennese – recorded by the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for the movie.
The scenes inside the opera house are a mix of shots from within the actual building and a stage in a London studio, but the external scenes were all filmed on location. For example:
If you want to experience the likes of Turandot in the Staatsoper in real life, it’s easier (and cheaper) than you might think: you can get a standing ticket on the night of performances for under €5.