WELCOME TO THE BAVARIAN STATE OPERA
one of the world's leading opera houses
The Bavarian State Opera in Munich is one of the world’s leading opera houses. It can look back on a proud 350-year history of opera and ballet. With around 600,000 guests attending around 450 annual performances, the State Opera contributes significantly to Munich’s reputation as a major international cultural city. It is also economically successful with its 95% capacity utilization. The classicist National Theater has 2,101 seats, making it the largest opera house in Germany and one of the most beautiful theaters in Europe. The internationally varied program consists of over 40 operas from 5 centuries, 20 ballets from the 19th century to the present day, as well as concerts and recitals. The Bavarian State Opera began in the 17th century. Elector Ferdinand Maria (he also had the Nymphenburg Palace and the Theatine Church built) built a theater in the Hercules Hall of the Residenz. There the first Italian opera performances were staged in front of the court society. In 1750, Elector Max III. Joseph von Francois Cuvilliés built the splendid rococo theater “teatro nuovo pressa la residenza”, the residence theater – still known to opera-goers from all over the world as the “Cuvilliés-Theater”. In the 19th century, Mozart composed his first Munich commissioned opera at the age of 19. However, it was not enough for him to get a permanent position. In 1818 the newly built National Theater on Max-Joseph-Platz became a new home for the ensemble. To this day it is the largest opera house in Germany. Richard Wagner came to Munich with the fairy tale king Ludwig II (1864-86). This resulted in four world premieres in Munich: Tristan und Isolde, the Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the Rheingold and the Walküre. After that there were many other important conductors at the head of the State Orchestra – the tradition of which can be traced back to 1523. Including the legends Bruno Walter, Hans Knappertsbusch, Clemens Krauss, Georg Solti, Ferenc Fricsay, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Zubin Mehta, who was followed in 2006 by Kent Nagano.