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Key figures at-a-glance:
  • Operabase
    290.000 performances on file, since 1996; 700 opera companies

  • The five seasons 2007/8 to 2011/12
    Works from 1198 different composers were played, of which more than 640 are living
    A total of 2588 different works were given, including over 300 world premieres

  • The 2011/12 season
    21,000 performances, one third in Germany (the most operatic country)
    Berlin overtakes Wien (top city in 2009/10) to be the city with most opera

deGermany  7872 (81.758m)
usUnited States  1881 (308.746m)
atAustria  1434 (8.356m)
frFrance  1303 (65.822m)
itItaly  1258 (60.419m)
Total number of performances by country, for the 2011/12 season. In brackets, the national populations in millions. NB: figures for countries outside western Europe and North America (particularly Russia) will be too low, as it is difficult to get accurate and complete information for them.
As Operabase collected about 21,000 performances in this season, Germany is mounting about one third of all opera performances globally.
Countries, per capitaTop
atAustria171.6 (1434 /8.356m)
eeEstonia103.0 (138 /1.340m)
chSwitzerland97.4 (758 /7.786m)
deGermany96.3 (7872 /81.758m)
seSweden65.2 (610 /9.354m)
isIceland50.3 (16 /0.318m)
czCzech Republic49.7 (531 /10.675m)
noNorway41.3 (204 /4.938m)
huHungary38.7 (387 /10.000m)
10 skSlovakia33.9 (184 /5.430m)
The number of performances per million citizens. In brackets, the total number of performances and the population in millions.

1de (#1)Berlin  570  (3.44m)
2at (#1)Wien  566  (2.00m)
3uk (#1)London  436  (8.28m)
4fr (#1)Paris  393  (10.20m)
5cz (#1)Praha  368  (1.25m)
6us (#1)New York  362  (18.22m)
7ru (#1)Moscow  352  (10.56m)
8de (#2)München  340  (2.61m)
9de (#3)Dresden  327  (0.78m)
10de (#4)Hamburg  281  (1.77m)
11hu (#1)Budapest  264  (2.52m)
12se (#1)Stockholm  231  (1.25m)
13au (#1)Sydney  223  (3.64m)
14ch (#1)Zurich  205  (0.37m)
15ru (#2)St Petersburg  203  (4.88m)
16de (#5)Köln  185  (1.00m)
17pl (#1)Wroclaw  177  (0.63m)
18de (#6)Frankfurt  175  (2.29m)
19es (#1)Madrid  172  (3.26m)
20de (#7)Stuttgart  168  (1.80m)
The number of performances in each city, in the 2011/12 season. The figure given in brackets is the urban population (the population of the contiguous built-up area) in millions.
Measured by the number of opera performances in the 2011/12 season, the most operatic cities were Berlin (with 594 performances), Wien, London, Paris, and München (in position 5), followed by Prague, New York, and Dresden. 

Since our first set of statistics, Berlin has lost the Berliner Kammeroper, and Wien has lost the Wiener Kammeroper and the Musik Theater Schönbrunn. As the Wien companies were significant ones in terms of numbers of performances, Berlin overtakes Wien to be the city with most opera.

Of the top 100 most operatic cities,

  • 45 are in Germany
  • 7 in Austria
  • 6 each in Switzerland and Italy
  • 4 in Poland
  • 3 in the US, and in Russia
  • 2 in the Czech Republic, in Spain, in the UK and in Australia

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