Record first season at Vienna Opera

1st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

The French reign at Vienna's venerable State Opera has kicked off with a bang, bringing in record revenues and attendance numbers in its very first season.

With 331 opera, ballet and children's performances over the past 10 months, the Staatsoper saw an impressive attendance average of 98.33 percent, it announced Friday.

For opera performances alone, this even went as high as 99.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the 584,974 tickets sold throughout the 2010-2011 season brought in some 29.53 million euros ($42.78 million).

"These figures are fantastic and show the attachment of the Viennese audience -- one of the most demanding in the world -- to the Staatsoper, as well as its agreement with the renewal process that began 10 months ago," Frenchman Dominique Meyer, who took over as opera director on September 1, 2010, told AFP.

Even the long neglected ballet company has seen a massive revival, with the Staatsoper filled to 99.9 percent of capacity for Rudolf Nureyev's "Don Quixote" earlier this year.

The Staatsoper has practically been under French rule since Meyer took over in September from the Romanian-born Ioan Holender, who ruled over the opera house for 18 years.

A compatriot, former Paris Opera etoile Manuel Legris, is now in charge of the ballet company, while musical director Franz Welser-Moest, an Austrian, completes the trio.

© 2011 AFP

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