The event and attendance figures for the 2019-20 season are marked by the nationwide lockdown of cultural institutions from March 2020 and subsequent restrictions on stage performances. Compared to the 2018-19 season (a total of 11,717 musical theatre and dance events with an attendance of almost 7.5 million), the 2019-20 season saw about 33% fewer events and 36% fewer visits.
The theatre statistic 2019-20 of the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein) reports an attendance of more than 2.4 million for the total of 3,750 opera performances. Opera thus accounted for about half of the events and visits in the entire musical theatre season.
On the stages of publicly financed music theatres, dance (1,870 events with almost 1.05 million visits) and musicals (1,620 events with around 975,000 visits) were almost on a par. Operettas were performed 638 times with an attendance of around 313,000.
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.
The theatre statistics are drawn from a complete survey based on written questionnaires submitted to 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 season are not comparable and therefore do not provide any information on the general development of music theatre. Instead, the concert and attendance figures for this season are compared with the development up to 2018-19 in order to illustrate the extent of the pandemic impact. Moreover, the figures in the time line up to 2018-19 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.
- From March 2020 on, all venues were closed for several months due to the nationwide pandemic lockdown. In summer 2020, state-specific corona protection measures continued to lead to restrictions on theatre operations.
- Excluding concert events. For concerts and attendance of independent orchestras with theatre duties see ‘Concerts and attendance of publicly financed orchestras’.
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).