Vienna opera blames Euro 2008 for poor attendance
Soccer games — namely Euro 2008 matches — are getting in the way of opera performances, the Vienna State Opera charged on Tuesday.
The venerable opera house saw its attendance numbers drop to the season’s lowest level on Monday, the same day Austria took on Germany in the city’s Ernst Happel stadium, the Staatsoper said in a statement.
The reason was not that opera fans eschewed Verdi’s La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny ) in favour of watching the match at home.
Rather, fans avoided the evening performance for fear of running into the hordes of soccer fans roaming the city centre, the statement said.
Ticket sales are also suffering for upcoming performances scheduled for the same days as Euro 2008 quarter-final matches.
Amid this uncertainty, the opera house has decided to cancel a ballet performance it had scheduled on June 29 — the day the Euro 2008 final will be played in Vienna.
Company director Ioan Holender said that this was the first time in his 17 years at the Vienna State Opera that anxiety over low attendance has prompted a cancellation.