Berlin spends $150 million on opera

The Berlin Senate has approved the final draft of¬†next year’s opera budget.

It amounts to 142 million Euros Рgive or take £100m Рand breaks down as follows:

Staatsoper Unter den Linden 49.5 million

Deutsche Oper 45.8 million

Komische Oper 35.8 million.

A further 1.1 million will go to a foundation for the promotion of opera.

The budget is a slight increase of 2.8 million over 2016.


In England, the Arts Council thinks half as much is far too much to spend on two London opera houses.



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  • Germany’s federal structure helps the situation a lot here – 16 Lands, each with financial and legal sovereignty. They can raise and spend money on the priorities they define themselves.

    No doubt this discussion will soon be featuring a further rendition of the Monty Python “Four Yorkshireman” sketch ūüėČ By the usual suspects….

      • Short sighted thing to say, considering Bavaria received many many billions for decades from other states until the 1990s. And Bavaria is the huge winner of world war two as well. Berlin had to pay for WWII, Bavaria won. Ironic, considering everything started was started mainly by a crazy guy with a funny moustache who started his fatal movement of the brown shirts in the very Bavaria. Bavaria can never pay enough, Berlin never receive enough, for what history dropped into their laps.

      • Bavaria has received between 1950 to 1987 billions of Deutschmark from the L√§nderfinanzausgleich.
        Bavaria also was extremely lucky to fall under US occupation after the war, while Berlin was divided and partially, “Umland” totally, controlled by the Soviets, all major industry escaping to the west, particularly Bavaria and Frankfurt a.M., where it resides until today and pays taxes there.
        People who are disconnected from history are also disconnected from culture.

        • This site√§nderfinanzausgleich clearly demonstrates that since 1950 Bayern has paid approximately the same as Berlin has received. I leave the judgment about the fairness of this scheme to the Germans.

          My point being only that Eddie Mars’s comment about the benefits of “financial and legal sovereignty” is completely off. When left only with the resources it produces, Berlin would not be able to spend 150 million on opera, as it received 10 billion EUR in 2015 from outside.

          • The Finanzausgleich ist like a medication. It eases the pain, but it doesn’t cure the disease. The disease is the failure to eventually correct for the extremely disproportionate redistribution of tax revenue sources after WWII.
            Bavaria used to be a poor agriculture state. After the war it found itself in a most fortunate position, compared to other regions of Germany. Berlin and the former east had to shoulder most of the suffering and losses of the war. After reunification German politics, under pressure of the industrial plutocracy, completely failed to heal this disease, instead they just increased the dose of medication. (Solidarzuschlag)
            Bavarians today who claim they are somehow superior, because their economy is creating good revenues, are idiots, because they fail to understand even the very basics of their own history.

  • But, Norman, it isn’t a fair comparison. Germany is a federal country, and Berlin has control of its own finances, with devolved power to decide how it spends its money, including culture. In comparison the UK is highly centralised, and London is broken up into boroughs (the GLA has a tiny culture budget, and does not fund arts organisations directly). So ‘London’ cannot spend money on its two opera houses, as there is no citywide culture budget, and Arts Council England has to cope with the political pressure to spend more outside London.

    • Even from beyond the grave, the apparition of the insane hag Maggie T is cackling with glee, Mark.

      Germany is forging ahead – while Britain is left in parochial penury thanks to that idiotic harridan.

      • Overstating your case, a quarter of a century after she ceased to be PM?

        I think your grip on reality is tenuous at best.

      • ‘apparition of the insane hag’

        Edwina, you really need to stop with these trolling comments. You are making yourself look a little mad.

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