Bayreuth gets a kicking for celebs free tickets

Bayreuth gets a kicking for celebs free tickets


norman lebrecht

June 20, 2011

A committee of the German Bundestag has savaged the Wagner family at Bayreuth for handing out too many free tickets to friendly politicians and public celebrities. Of 57,000 available seats, 2,500 went to Wagner pals and pols. The committee wants parliament to impose tighter scrutiny on the Wagner family. About time, too.

Here’s a German report.


  • In the German report, notice also that the Bundesrechnungshof (the German equivalent to America’s Government Accounting Office) recommended that ticket prices be set to insure a wide public – which they say would also justify the large subvention given to Bayreuth by the Federal government and the State of Bavaria.

    This is also notable because Bayreuth is one of the very few privately operated opera houses in all of Europe, even though it receives massive support from the government.

    In the nearby Gärtnerplatz Theater in Munich, one can have the best seat in the house (down near the orchestra) for Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri for $80. The mid range tickets are about $45 dollars, which are also excellent seats.

    Imagine if America had state supported opera houses and orchestras, and a government agency that made sure the tickets were affordable by a wide public.