Memo to the Met: Zurich just sold 90 percent of its seats

Opernhaus Zürich has announced its stats for the 2017/18 season.

There were 327 performances, 245,517 tickets sold.

The house was 90 percent full across the season, up from 85.1% the previous year.

Opera achieved an 88.3% uptake. Ballet scored 98%.

The Met sells around 70 percent of its tickets, as does English National Opera.



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  • To be fair, the Zürich Opera seats only about 1100 so it has many less seats to sell than the Met. On the other hand of course the city is much smaller than New York, less than 500.000.

    • Zurich has a population of 400’000 whereas New York 8’500’000.
      Opernhaus Zurich has a capacity of 1’100 seats, the Met 3’800.
      I let you do the maths.

      • It is also waaaay easier to travel to Zürich from any point in Europe than to travel to New York from even the North American north east.

        • Good point. Let’s get real: how big a population lives within about 1 hour of Zurich? I see that the Canton of Zurich has a population of 1.5 million.

    • Quite, a quarter of the seats, bit more than 5% of the population. Not sure how one could calculate performance!

  • Apples and oranges. The culture of large, modern cities is changing. The culture of a small, affluent city like Zurich, not so much…

  • Wow, an average of 750 per performance, world beating as distinct from rather obvious Gelb beating. Good job some can recognise a rather tired old hobby horse when it is being laboriously flogged to death.

  • If the Zurich opera house has 1100 seats and they sold 750 per performance (i.e. 245 517 divided by 327), that makes it 68% of capacity, not 90%. That is about what the Met does. As the others are pointing out, one is comparing apples and watermelons.

    • Not sure about the regular prices, MacroV, haven’t been in a while, but they have close to 30 low-priced “Volksvorstellungen” this season, heavily sponsored “shows for the people”. Ticket prices for these range from 15 to 75 Swiss francs. You can check out their website:

  • Okay then, it is fair to say that those who live in Zurich like opera more than those who live in New York. I wonder what the competition is like, culturally. What’s the rap, hip hop, music theater, experimental music, jazz, country, alternative, rock, EDM, etc., scenes like in Zurich? Different cultures…

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