Munich writes off its opera festival

Munich writes off its opera festival


norman lebrecht

April 17, 2020

Just in from Bavarian Opera:

By order of the Bavarian Ministry of Science and Art, the 2020 Munich Opera Festival will not be able to take place. Likewise, all remaining performances will be cancelled until the end of June 2020, thus ending the 2019/20 season of the Bayerische Staatsoper.
“The cancellation of the remaining season and of the Munich Opera Festival is naturally very painful for the entire house and for me personally,” says General Manager Nikolaus Bachler. “A theatre without an audience, without artists to enliven the stage and orchestra pit is nothing more than a dead shell. In recent weeks, we have gone through several scenarios for the realisation of the festival, which were primarily intended to ensure the safety and health of staff, artists and audiences. However, none of the options proved to be practicable and satisfactory. Therefore, we are now examining under high pressure which premieres can take place at a later date and which activities can be possible online and through streams”.


  • Mezzo or Soprano says:

    Mr Bachler is one of the great intendants of our time, and sure as hell we need a few of those!!! BUT it is very disappointing that in such a great theatre, the man at the top never had the courtesy to actually write to the artists who should have performed in his house during this time, he certainly didn’t write to me when performances were cancelled for this month… Although members of his team were communicative, it would have been nice if he himself had reached out… I mean, I even had an email of apology and disappointment from the boss of Easyjet! This is an amazing theatre, but it’s a pity that gesture didn’t occur, would have been especially nice to hear from the boss that we weren’t going to be paid!

  • Larry L. Lash / Vienna, Austria says:

    Actually Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday the closure of all German theatres, concert halls, opera houses, summer festivals, cinemas, and sporting events through the end of August.

    If all goes well, things will be able to reopen observing the rules of “the new normal” in September.

    Here in Austria, the newspaper Kurier ran an article yesterday stating that the Salzburg Festival would not be able to open as scheduled on 18 July and would try to cobble something together for mid-August, but the festival later said it was a false report, and that any decision about the festival will be made by the end of May. The same applies to Bregenz.

    • RagnarDanneskjoeld says:

      Actually, Mrs. Merkel did not announce the closure of all German theatres through the end of August. If this were the case, then smaller theatres would have closed down as well. But they didn’t as only “major events” have been cancelled. Each state decides individually what constitues a “major event”. So there is still some guessing to be done.

      • Federalist says:

        Correct, and the 16 states now generating their own definitions of what constitutes “large-scale event” are:

        Lower Saxony

      • Lausitzer says:

        What has been agreed (it is not a lone decision by “the rhomb”) is that no Großveranstaltungen can take place. It is now up to each federal state what constitutes a “big event”. Looks like the definitions will differ. So this really needs a closer look.