The Latest Trends in European Opera House Financing
The Opéra Garnier in Paris. Opéra National de Paris is the European opera company with the biggest budget.
(photo: Peter Rivera)

French opera website Revopera has recently published a survey on the financing of 14 leading European opera companies. According to 2015 figures collated from various annual reports and press releases, coming top in Europe with the largest income is the Opéra National de Pariswhich includes the two opera houses – Garnier and Bastille – at just over €200 million followed by the Royal Opera House in London with just under €160 million and La Scala in Milan with €124 million. Within this, the Royal Opera House has the largest share of its budget emanating from non-subsidy, i.e. self-funded which includes all ticket receipts, philanthropic and private donations, as well as revenue from other sources such as programme sales, visitor tours, digital cinema; that makes up 79% of its income.

However in terms of philanthropy alone, the Teatro Real in Madrid has the largest share of its income from such sources—as much as 24%. The share of its income that is self-funded has almost doubled in 5 years from 40% up to 70%. Naturally this has also come about as a consequence of the economic crisis of 2008 which has seen a reduction in government subsidy for many opera houses and has enabled philanthropic contributions to increase as a share of income to an average of around 9%. This is often a lot smaller in Germany and the Benelux countries where opera companies not only continue to receive large amounts of subsidy but on average still offer among the cheapest tickets.

To view the charts and read the full report (en français) please visit:


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