The next few months promise to be particularly complicated for the Paris Opera. After several months marked by the strikes and the outbreak of coronavirus, the institution is facing new economic challenges, according to the assertions of its leadership Wednesday. "One is between 35% and 45% loss of subscriptions for the season 2020-2021. Is it going to recover ? I think it is unlikely, " said past director, Stéphane Lissner. It was auditioned with the director, deputy Martin Ajdari by the Culture commission in the Senate. A strike history in December and January against the reform of the special regimes, of which the Opera house is the only one to benefit in the world of culture and with the Comédie-Française, and then the outbreak of the coronavirus have caused a loss of ticket of the order of 45 million euros.
In addition, "it has roughly a third of the revenues of the sponsorship will diminish by 2020," said Martin Ajdari. Companies, especially medium-sized, "have been reluctant to invest at the time where they will demand efforts and sacrifices to their employees" in the wake of the pandemic. "It has great historical partners who remain faithful, but there are a range of donors, patrons intermediaries, which tend to fold back, so we will not be able to rely on these revenues ", said the deputy director.
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An economic model to review ?
Stéphane Lissner, who, since his arrival at the head of the Opera in 2015, more than double the patronage (from 9 to 19 million euros in 2020), has also pointed to the challenge of recovering the public in a context of complex post-strike and post-Covid. "The strikes have greatly shocked the public and a part of subscribers ; we had reactions of patrons or subscribers who are extremely angry at what happened," said Stéphane Lissner.
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The Paris Opera, the largest opera house in Europe in terms of seats with the palais Garnier and the opera Bastille, is funded at 40 % State and 60% by its own revenue. This is the scene the more subsidized in France (€95 million from the State for a budget of 230 million). "The model of the Opera (...) will not support in the future of social crises, health crises," said Stéphane Lissner, who has decided to leave his post at the end of the year, and not, as originally planned, in the summer of 2021, to be replaced by Alexander Neef.