Meyer leaves Vienna with record attendances

English National Opera’s management was bragging yesterday of  ‘record’ 75 percent ticket sales at the Coliseum.

Dominique Meyer, introducing his final season at the Vienna State Opera, produced the following stats for April 2 2018 to April 2, 2019:

Opera seats sold: 99.37 percent

Ballet seats sold: 99.88%

Standing room: 83.86%

Opera nights: 223

Ballet: 54

Box-office revenues: up 2 million Euros to 25.9 million.

Beat that.

 

 

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  • The Coli know very well that 75% is a shambling kind of record. I was there on the opening night of Akhnaten in the 1980s – every seat was sold, and there were people sitting down the steps in the aisles (to the dismay of the fire officers). There were dowagers in their finery seated next to illustrious rockers in leather jackets (their leathers had probably cost more than the dowager dresses) – but the mood was electric, and everyone was rapturously happy to have got a ticket. This is what Meyer understands, and Stuart Murphy cannot grasp – that a tip-top show will generate its own buzz, and fill the house out of its own accord.

  • Well, it’s really hard to compare these two companies. Completely different artistic profile and target audience. Though clearly ENO is seriously underperforming.
    Btw. 75% of Coliseum seating capacity is exactly 100% of Wiener Staatsoper 😉

    • [[ Btw. 75% of Coliseum seating capacity is exactly 100% of Wiener Staatsoper ]]

      In a city three times larger.

  • No lover of ENO but comparison with Vienna or any other similar size house is somewhat meretricious. Vienna seats 1700 so at 99% that’s an average of 1683. The Coliseum seats 2359 so at 75% that’s 1769. So bums on seats the same, granted for significantly less performances. ENO is for me misnamed and in the wrong place but even I doubt that elsewhere in the UK any company could match Vienna’s number of performances or the attendance level. As to the quality of the experience, well 1769 patrons are being short changed of late, with very little to brag about in my opinion, but that’s just it, an opinion.

  • What percentage of Vienna’s audience is from outside Austria? I imagine it is quite high. The opera is a tourist attraction. ENO is not. A review of next season at the Staatsoper, just announced, shows many uninspiring performances of warhorse operas – Traviata, Boheme and Tosca, for example. More than half of the performances in November 2019 are of ballet. The Staatsoper’s repertoire and overall performance quality are not of a kind that most other houses would care to duplicate.

  • As tourists to London from NY last June, we enjoyed both the quality of the dancers and the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty @ the Colisseum.

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