How many immigrants work in your theatre?

How many immigrants work in your theatre?


norman lebrecht

June 27, 2019

The AFD (Alternative for Germany) right-wing party has asked the Staatstheater of Stuttgart how many immigrants are working now at the theatre, Staatsoper and the ballet, what nationalities they are and where they trained.

Since the AFD are in Parliament, the theatre is obliged to give an answer.

Read on here.



  • anon says:

    What next? The nationalities of the composers?

    Foreign composers have invaded our Fatherland, taking over programming slots that should go to Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and of course, Wagner.

    All foreign operas performed in Germany must henceforth be sung in German.

  • NoBulls says:

    Well, some people count how many foreigners there are in a theatre, and some people (like the author if this blog) count how many men and women there are in an orchestra, or how many works performed in an orchestra are by women…

  • Will Duffay says:

    Creeping fascism. Scary.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    I was asked by GLA, years ago what the sexuality of all my company members were. I told them in writing to mind their own business! Still got the grant.

    • Nik says:

      Of course, there is often remarkably little difference between the information collected for purported ‘equality’ purposes and those for discrimination.
      Whenever you deal with the public sector in the UK (especially local authorities) you’re always asked to categorise yourself according to an arbitrary list of ethnic affiliations. I don’t care what the purpose of this is, it’s racial profiling and has no place in a modern society.

  • Bob Boles says:

    AfD will be undertaking lab tests to ensure the Aryan genetic purity of all staff. Job applicants will need to be able to show a Teutonic genetic background for at least three generations.

    It’s 1937 all over again in Stuttgart.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “It’s 1937 all over again in Stuttgart.”

      So you’re saying the nazis got only 11% of the votes (thus being the 4th strongest party) in 1937? Is that what you *wanted* to say?

  • Andreas B. says:

    link to the response of the Staatstheater Stuttgart:

    • Bob Boles says:

      Good for them! Let’s hope the AfD are not given any further support.

    • Brian says:

      But they’ll take the money that almost all comes from German citizens.

      • Andreas B. says:

        Are you aware that immigrants pay taxes, too?

        Are you aware that there are German citizens who are immigrants?

        Are you aware that the population of Stuttgart is very diverse?
        And that this diversity plays a considerable part in the economic success of the whole region?

        Are you aware of the fact that almost half of the people living in Stuttgart have a migrant background?
        Are you aware of the fact that more than 100.000 of them are German citizens?

        And finally: are you aware that your comment demonstrates a worrying narrowmindedness?

    • Thanks for the link to the response by the Stattstheater Stuttgart and your other comments here.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Surprised they haven’t asked for DNA samples. You know, the one-drop-in-the-blood purity standard. Only a matter of time, we guess.

  • Brettermeier says:

    As if these hypocritical troglodytes (and their equally primordial voters) cared about culture.

  • Amos says:

    Perhaps they should request that immigrants sew a small brightly colored object to their garments which is clearly visible at all times. This request is the corollary to the attempt by the trump administration to include a citizenship question to the 2020 American census. The effect of treating immigrants as “the other” in American yesterday led to the drowning of a father and his 23 month old daughter. Hopefully the residents of Stuttgart react as millions of Americans have with revulsion!

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      The treatment of undocumented migrants to the States is horrible. But put that photo in the context of the approximately 100,000 Syrians who have died trying to enter Europe in the past decade.

    • sycorax says:

      I can assure you: They do – and most people I know support the opera in their refusal of giving the data out the AfD asked for.
      A friend of mine told me just yesterday that the not-German artists in the opera mostly get extra claps in the moment. People want to show their support for them and as a Stuttgarterin myself: I feel really ashamed of these AfD people being in our government.

  • Bob Boles says:

    Stuttgart, of course, is the new operational base of Teodor Currentzis -the Greek-Russian opera conductor. He is now the Chief Conductor of the SWR Radio Orchestra, Stuttgart. That makes him one of the most recent non-Germanic migrants to take up an Arts job there. I wonder how the SWR will justify his appointment? No Aryan conductors were available for the position, perhaps?

    • sycorax says:

      30 years ago as a bassoon student I used to be my teacher’s (the second bassoon at the opera) substitute – and at this time the GMD (general music director) of the opera was Silvio Varviso, Italian (if memory serves me right). And from the three kapellmeisters at this time only one was German. Besides the second big orchestra in Stuttgart was the Radio Sinfonie Orchestra, led by Sergiu Celibidache.
      Actually Stuttgart was always rather welcoming to “foreign” artists and I don’t think that will change only because a few idiots at the AfD want it.

  • John Borstlap says:

    It is the spectre of immigration anxiety haunting Germany again, fed by ignorance of the nature of Western society. But this ignorance is everywhere present in the West, and has deep roots – and some of these roots are entirely understandable:

  • sycorax says:

    Nope, the theatre isn’t obliged to answer and they indeed didn’t. They responded in saying that they “can’t” answer because they don’t have lists about their people’s nationalities.
    And most of the people in Stuttgart are on the side of the opera. Both Stuttgart newspaper support it and most auf the audiences do (I am from Stuttgart and my entire family clan’s got subscriptions for the opera).

    • John Borstlap says:

      That’s great….. and encouraging. The narrow-minded interpretations of cultural identity have to be countered by more enlightened versions. It is sad that still so many people are not able to make the simple observation that a culture, a tradition, is on another level than locality, ethnicity, nationality, gender, shoe size, haircut, etc. A culture is a mental and emotional wave length, not a physical signifyer. It is primitive and materialist thinking to suppose that German musical culture can only be served by people with a certain ethnic or historic profile.

      On the other hand: if there were more awareness of German musical culture and its nature and history in Germany itself, distinct from any ethnicity or ‘bloodline’, such burbs as the AfD nonsense would not, or much less, appear. The fear of loosing cultural identity feeds into primitive instinct reactions, and this fear is the result of equalizing, globalizing, commercial tendencies in the West in general. Populism in the West is the ugly face of something that is in itself justified: if cultural identity were sufficiently vivid, we would not see the crazy rallies of extremists, neonazis, pegida mongers etc. and the xenophobic protestations and cruelties.