CULTURE

National Opera revenue has more than doubled

The Greek National Opera doubled its number of performances and spectators, and more than doubled its income, during its recent season (October 2000-July 2001). According to statistics the Opera released on Monday, in its recently completed season the Opera put on 232 performances (more than the 139 staged the previous year), and sold 115,611 tickets (against just 65,805), while the proceeds amounted to 729,816,000 drachmas (361,504,500 drachmas last year). The unprecedented year-on-year increase in the number of ticket-holders and amount of revenue is due to several factors, particularly including the following: – The creation of an operetta stage at the Acropole theater, where a production of The Apaches of Athens by Nikos Hatziapostolou was staged; – A summer tour of the same production to 40 towns in Greece; – An opera production for children, which was also performed in many towns outside Athens; – The improvement in the level of performances, which attracted larger audiences. Tickets for most performances were sold out well before the premiere; – The Opera’s successful visits abroad (Cairo and Attaleia, Turkey) with all its constituent parts – the orchestra, choir and ballet. According to the Opera’s statistics for the past four years (see table) tickets sales rose by approximately 10,000 in 1998-99 (against 1997-98), by 2,000 in 1999-2000, and by 50,000 this year. As for revenue, it rose by 15 million drachmas in 1998-99, 2 million drachmas in 1999-2000, and by 370 million this year. The most productive months for the opera, in terms of both ticket sales and receipts, are January and June, probably because of tours out of Athens and outdoor performances at the Herod Atticus Theater, followed by November and April (perhaps because of Easter). July is not very productive and August, September and October are not productive at all. But why does the Opera avoid providing a detailed accounting per production, telling us how many performances there were of each work and how many tickets were sold? A complete account demands these details.