The event and attendance figures for the 2020-21 season are marked by lockdowns of cultural institutions and restrictions on stage performances. Compared to the pre-pandemic 2018-19 season (a total of 11,717 musical theatre and dance events with almost 7.5 million attendances), 2020-21 saw around 73 % fewer opera, operetta, dance and musical events. Attendance figures decreased by 91 %.
The development up to the last pre-pandemic season 2018-19 varied depending on the genre. Since the turn of the millennium, the number of opera, operetta and musical performances had declined, which was also reflected in the attendance figures. This was particularly evident in operetta, where events and audiences had almost halved between 2000-01 and 2018-19. Contrary to this trend, the number of new productions of opera, operetta and musical had risen slightly.
There was a different development in dance. Here, event and attendance figures had remained more or less constant since 2000-01 - the number of new productions per season had even increased by 40 % by 2018-19.
For the first time, the German Theatre and Orchestra Association also surveyed the number of streaming productions: During the 2020-21 season, approximately 10,190 complete theatre productions of all genres were streamed.
The theatre statistics are based on a written survey of publicly financed theatres and orchestras regarding their business operations (venues, range of events, attendance figures, staff, financing). As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons are not comparable and therefore do not provide any information on the general development of music theatre. Instead, the event and attendance figures for these seasons are compared with the development up to 2018-19 in order to illustrate the extent of the pandemic impact. The figures in the time line are not always comparable with each other, for some venues could not be used owing to construction work and/or the collected data is incomplete owing to lack of responses, especially in the earlier years and during the pandemic.
- The season data illustrate the extent of corona protection measures on concert operations. Since March 2020, these have repeatedly led to restrictions on concert operations or the closure of venues.
- Excluding concert events. For concerts and attendance of independent orchestras with theatre duties see ‘Concerts and attendance of publicly financed orchestras’.
- Due to the pandemic, not all productions were premiered in recent seasons. Listed are productions that premiered (and that eventually were discontinued afterwards). Included here are also new productions that were digitally staged and streamed.
- Listed are complete streaming productions of all genres (music theatre, dance, drama, puppet theatre and theatre for children and young people) as well as concerts. Not included are productions that were staged and recorded in earlier seasons and streamings of only excerpts of a production as well as short streamings for marketing purposes, for example.
- Theatre for children and youth including operas, ballets etc.
- Other events are, for example, recitals, readings or cabaret. This does not include theatre-related supporting programmes, which are listed separately in the theatre statistics and include, for example, guided tours, introductory events or other offers that serve the purpose of education and for which no or only a small fee is charged.
Compiled and calculated by the German Music Information Centre from the various issues of Theaterstatistik, published annually by the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein).