• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever
(PC: Enrico Nawrath)

Germany’s Bayreuth Festival Reduces Choir Size

To save on finances, the festival has announced a 40% reduction of the choir as of 2024


To save on costs in all areas, the Bayreuth Festival has announced that its festival choir will be reduced from 134 members to 80 singers in 2024. 

The festival, founded by Richard Wagner in 1876 to perform his works, has stated that as its state subsidies will not increase and additional financial requirements would amount to several million euros in the coming years, it has developed proposals on how to counteract projected cost increases.

According to BR Klassik, “constructive negotiations” have been discussed with the festival orchestra and that “the choir [has been] invited to also develop constructive solutions in agreement with the festival management.”

The event organizers also stated that the future strength of its choir will be based on that of other large opera houses, including the Bavarian State Opera and the two Berlin opera houses.

The majority of the choir’s singers come from professional choruses from European opera houses and broadcasting companies; others work as freelance singers, soloists or in choruses, at different companies or in radio choirs. 

Since the announcement, the choir board and the Association of German Opera and Dance Ensembles (VdO) representation of the Bayreuth Festival Choir have contested the choir’s reduction and are requesting concrete figures and justifications for the decision and future economic plans. 

“The special choral sound, which — unique in the world — is traditionally part of the Bayreuth Festival, cannot be produced to the same extent when reduced to 80 members,” wrote VdO’s managing director Tobias Könemann and deputy director Gerrit Wedel in a statement to the festival. 

“The proposed choir size does not meet the artistic requirements and will affect the quality of the performances. The planned reduction in the collectively agreed size of the choir by 40% or 54 people would have significant effects that were not taken into account,” they added. 

“The festival choir consists of around 50% freelance singers, for whom their involvement in the Bayreuth Festival represents an important basis for their annual income…The Bayreuth Festival management was asked for a statement, in particular on the alleged funding gap and other savings options, but has not yet responded.”

upcoming events

july 2024

04julAll Day14Ilona Fehér International Violin Competition(All Day) Ádám Jenő Music School of Ferencváros, HU-1092 Budapest, Köztelek u. 8.Event Type :competitionsFOLLOW

16julAll Day27Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello & Baroque Cello Competition(All Day) Thomaskirche Leipzig, Thomaskirchhof, Thomaskirchhof 18, 04109 Leipzig, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBaroque Cello Competition,Cello Competition,Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello CompetitionFOLLOW

august 2024

19augAll Day24Tibor Varga International Junior Violin Competition(All Day) Ferme-Asile, Promenade des Pêcheurs 10 1950 Sion SuisseEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Tibor VargaFOLLOW

22augAll Day01sepKloster Schöntal International Violin Competition(All Day) Schöntal Monastery, Klosterhof 6, 74214 Schöntal, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKloster Schöntal International Violin CompetitionFOLLOW

26augAll Day30London Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2BS, United KingdomEvent Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

30augAll Day01sepBanff International String Quartet Festival(All Day) The Banff Centre, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive Box 1020 Banff T1L 1H5 Canada Event Type :Other Event TagsBanff International String Quartet Festival,string quartetFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right