The list of operas with the highest number of performances documents which works are particularly established in the repertoires of theatres in Germany. Rather, the 2020-21 season analysis must be viewed from a different perspective: it shows which works could have been performed at all for several times in front of an audience.
The 2020-21 statistics for Johann Strauss's ‘Die Fledermaus’ show 52 performances. Compared to the last season before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic (2018-19), this was 64 performances less. The number of attendances was just 12,000 in 2020-21, a decrease of about 58,000 compared to 2018-19 season. ‘The White Horse Inn’ by Ralph Benatzky was performed 36 times, ‘Märchen im Grand-Hotel’ by Paul Abraham 31 times.
Under these special pandemic conditions, some works that are rarely performed on German stages also appear in the ranking.
The work statistics are drawn from a complete survey based on online questionnaires (written questionnaires until 2013-14) submitted to all state, municipal and regional theatres and major private theatres in the German-speaking countries. Also included are festivals with theatre productions and training institutions where productions reach public performance under professional supervision. The figures cover the theatre’s entire repertoire (own and co-productions), including concert performance and guest appearances at other theatres, but with no claim to completeness; guest appearances by outside ensembles at the theatre’s own premises are excluded. As many theatres report number of productions but not attendance, gaps in the presentation may occur.
The 2014-15 statistics were accompanied by a revision of the classification system to take into account the diversity of work manifestations in different theatre formats. Since then, the decisive factor is no longer a predefined classification of a work into the three main categories of musical theatre (opera, operetta, musical), drama and ballet/dance, but the decision of the theatres as to how a production positions itself as a work. For this purpose, the classification system was expanded: since 2014-15, children‘s and adolescent‘s theatre, puppet theatre, revue/Liederabend and multi-genre projects/performances have been listed on an equal footing with the main categories. Operettas or operetta adaptations that are assigned to these categories are not included in these statistics. This also applies to productions that fall under the category Digital Theatre, which has been introduced in the 2019-20 season and for which no performance figures are available. Digital theatre includes both genuinely digital productions and stage productions, which are streamed live or posted online as recordings.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, theatre operations were restricted and venues have repeatedly been closed. This is reflected in the season‘s statistics.
Compiled by the German Music Information Centre from the various issues of Wer spielte was? Werkstatistik, published annually by the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein).