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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Top ten countries with most opera performances per year

    The 10 countries around the globe with the most opera performances per year (these are 2015/2016 numbers)

    Germany – 6,795 performances.
    United States – 1,657 performances.
    Russia – 1,490 performances.
    Italy – 1,393 performances.
    Austria – 1,163 performances.
    France – 1,020 performances.
    United Kingdom – 989 performances.
    Czech Republic – 818 performances.
    Switzerland – 652 performances.
    Poland – 638 performances.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    With even small German cities usually having a community theater (which usually includes at least an orchestra, opera company, and playhouse), it's probably no surprise that Germany tops the list for the highest number of opera performances per year. Many of those theaters also maintain a full season of performances, unlike the handful of productions mounted each year by a number of U.S. companies/houses.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Indeed. This past summer I visited one of these smallish opera houses in Germany (Nuremberg - such a shame, I haven't transcribed the interviews I got there yet) and was able to notice how the quality was quite high, although of course not as high as in Berlin and Munich.

    I was surprised that the United States has more performances than all other world countries except Germany, but of course if we were to count that as performances by population we wouldn't be in such good shape.

    The Czech Republic ahead of many other Western European countries also came as a surprise. They are a small country with only 2 major companies and 7 small ones, but were still able to place 8th.

    A pleasant surprise is that my beloved Italy wasn't that far behind the other Europeans (except Germany and Russia) despite the funding crisis there. But then, these are numbers from 4 years ago so maybe Italy's number has further dropped. Italy has 33 opera companies.

    Small Switzerland is doing quite well, despite having only two major companies (Zürich and Genève) and four smaller ones (a second one in Genève, and one each in Basel, Bern, and Lausanne). Of course, the amazing country is Austria, with a very small population and 17 opera companies, placed 5th overall.

    The United Kingdom comparatively is doing relatively poorly, given the bigger population, and the fact that they have no fewer than 44 opera companies (counting festivals) just in England, with 8 more in the other three nations, but were still not so far ahead of the Czechs and Swiss.

    Poland has 2 major and 6 small companies.

    Spain with 3 major companies in Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, and 6 smaller ones, did not break the top ten.

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    Looking up the number of opera companies by location (including festivals) I was surprised to learn of another one in my home state of North Carolina, Opera Wilmington; they were founded in 2014 and ever since have done at least one production per year, sometimes two, and I had never heard of them! North Carolina boasts no fewer than 10 companies (including the Brevard Festival and a "company" that is a school but is still listed as one given its high production standards - the Fletcher Opera Institute at the North Carolina School of the Arts). Not bad, for a Southern state that nobody thinks of as a destination for opera!

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    Russia has 23 opera companies. Germany has at least 83 state-funded opera companies and 200 private ones, and the United States has too many to count, also in the hundreds, but many are very small ones with one production per year or not even (one every other year, and so forth). US numbers are also made higher by several amateur companies, and others specializing in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); February 3rd, 2019 at 04:29 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    The 10 countries around the globe with the most opera performances per year (these are 2015/2016 numbers)

    Germany – 6,795 performances.
    United States – 1,657 performances.
    Russia – 1,490 performances.
    Italy – 1,393 performances.
    Austria – 1,163 performances.
    France – 1,020 performances.
    United Kingdom – 989 performances.
    Czech Republic – 818 performances.
    Switzerland – 652 performances.
    Poland – 638 performances.
    Wow - just look at Germany! Am really interested in this, can you post a link to your source?
    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

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