Under new management, Munich struggles to sell opera tickets

Under new management, Munich struggles to sell opera tickets


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2021

This screengrab, taken today, represents two weeks of ticket sales at Bavarian State Opera for the October 5 third performance of Verdi’s Falstaff, a production that was new last December. Bryn Terfel and Eleonora Buratto top the bill.

As of this morning the only seats that had sold are those in white.

The rest are still available in eight different coloured price zones.

Not a good start for Serge Dorny’s first season.


  • Ks Christopher Robson says:

    Maybe an inauspicious start to the season for Dorny. But then again, this season will probably mostly have been planned by Bachler anyway. I would think Dorny’s planning won’t really kick in until next season.

    • Hermann Lederer says:

      You are completely wrong. The whole season is 100 % Dorny-planned. He had 3 years time. No Bachler at all, but most houses in Europe struggle at the moment because of Covid-restrictions. I have not much sympathy for the new management in Munich on various reasons but no one can blame them for the ticket sells at the moment.

  • Eyal Braun says:

    Is there ANY opera house Orchestra anywhere that is not struggling to sell tickets these days? there are many unsold tickets in Vienna opera for the coming months. I live in Israel and the IPO sold much less subscriptions than pre-COVID era. Although it is much because of the incertainty of the pandemic trends in the coming months and the justified concerns of the older people from gathering – I am not sure that we will see a speedy recovery even when the pandemic is over:

    • Henry williams says:

      The older people are scared to go out to a concert or theatre. They wear a mask even if
      They are walking in an empty street. With nobody about.

      • Eric B says:

        And they will eventually die, anyway, Covid or not Covid….
        The world has turned completely mad.

        • henry williams says:

          like me Eric. i went to the
          British grand prix. we had
          141.000 at the circuit.
          iam over 80 i do not care
          any more.

          • Musikmann3.0 says:

            Even with 141,000 people there, not difficult to distance at Silverstone, and it’s outside, that’s why 141,000 people were there, in 2021. Bit different to an enclosed Opera House where you’re gonna be for at least a couple hours, and unlikely to be able to keep any kinda distance around you and it’s not like you can just open the windows in there either.

        • HugoPreuss says:

          Is this how you feel about your own grandparents? Or parents? Or how you would like your grandkids to feel about you? Heartfelt sentiments, no doubt…

        • Maria says:

          We are all going to die – the only certsin thing in this life, and you’re not necessarily old!

      • Ines says:

        Well, it s because a 60 years old is not really old but he is at high risk with covid..and I wouldn t blame a 60 years old for not taking risks with covid- he worked all his life, he invested a lot of money in his pension and planned to enjoy life for a while, and now- this. No time left to enjoy his economies.
        Bismarck would have loved covid if he lived now.

    • Gus says:

      I think you are correct, people will be very cautious to go to large scale events whilst Covid cases are still present despite the roll out of vaccinations. There may be some hope of a return to concert going, as I was surprised to see so many people at today’s lunchtime concert at St David’s Hall in Cardiff. It was very heartening to see friends again, people were so pleased to be there.

    • henry williams says:

      the young people will go to rock
      concerts. they do not care.

      • Ashu says:

        [the young people will go to rock
        concerts. they do not care.]

        Are you too old to remember what it was like to be young? No, don’t tell me what an impossibly righteous self-sacrificing prude you were at that age. Just try to remember, honestly, and with the same indulgence to others’ humanity that you bestow so generously on yourself.

  • Alviano says:

    Maybe people are afraid of Covid. Maybe people are afraid of another lockdown and don’t want to risk the cash.
    I doubt they are afraid of Serge Dorny even if they should be.

  • Kuniko 2 says:

    That darn Peter Gelb!

  • fred says:

    dorny is a joke, no knowledge of voices nor of the repertoire, he just repeats and repeats the same stuff, but you must give to him he DOES get the job always, stupid boards. Th eDresden debacle was not an accident

    • Eric B says:

      Must say I can’t wait to see the same debacle in Munich, after he was kept in place in Lyon in spite of so many complaints on all accounts…

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    Suprising. I would like so much to see once in concert or in opera Bryn Terfel. Maybe the people of this region are used to buy lately the tickets or they think more about the next big event in town… But September and early October are not the best period for selling tickets in a lot of cities it’s easier in December and January. Or it’s too expensive.

  • Gunda says:

    Remaining tickets are often expensive and they are playing in a full house… some put off by having to pay for required tests and others afraid of getting infected… in the forefront of his first season he treats existing staff badly, and hires only singers that have a vaccine…bad times for opera indeed if those are the criteria :)) nobody knows why he got the job…

  • wiener says:

    Wie in Wien , Oper ist out, trotz ( oder wegen ) ” großartiger “, ach so innovativen, modernen Direktionen.

  • NotToneDeaf says:

    I’m sure Peter Gelb is behind this.

  • Jack says:

    They could probably do better if they managed to get Nadine Sierra to sing Nannetta in a bikini as she did in a Berlin production not long ago.

  • PB says:

    Let’s be totally honest, please: are there today that many artists left who can actually sell?!
    Is Buratto – a blend, boring, off pitch voice – a reason for people to go to the opera today?! To actually buy tickets and fill in the house?
    As long as new (and old) managements will continue to hire singers based on the mafia “agents” (Operalia, Ariossi and so on) and not based on real talents or real artistry, opera will be dead sooner than we actually think it will.

  • WillC says:

    Interesting … the Dutchman October 1 with Kampe and Lundgren is pretty much a desert … but Forza with Harteros and Kaufmann October 2 is sold out except for second class standing … so there! Just hope he makes it!