Gebouw NO&B
Photo: Ronald Tilleman

Seat occupancy back to record levels of 2019

11 January 2024

At 95% for 2023, the seat occupancy percentage at Dutch National Opera & Ballet was comparable to levels before the coronavirus pandemic. The average seat occupancy rose by 1% compared to 2019 and by 6% compared to 2018.

Dutch National Opera achieved 94% seat occupancy, which is an increase of over 5% compared to 2019 and an increase of over 8% compared to 2018. In 2019, Dutch National Ballet reached an absolute record in seat occupancy of 98.6%. In 2023, the company achieved 97% seat occupancy on average. The figures for 2023 also show a growth in new audiences for Dutch National Opera & Ballet. 

For Dutch National Opera, the percentage of new audience members rose from 18% in 2019 to 25% in 2023. For Dutch National Ballet, this percentage is consistent at around 41%. The percentage of young audience (35 and under) increased substantially. For Dutch National Opera this is now 16%, an increase of 10% compared to 2019. For Dutch National Ballet the young audience increased with 5% to a percentage of 27% in 2023. 

General director Stijn Schoonderwoerd about the seat occupancy: “We’re delighted that our audiences have found us once again in large numbers. For everyone, it was a question of waiting to see how quickly the audience would return after years of lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. These figures demonstrate the huge appeal of our art forms. The fact that we’ve returned to 2019 levels so quickly is testimony to a great appreciation of opera and ballet, and good accessibility to these art forms.”

The total audience numbers for 2023, including the performances given by Dutch National Ballet and Dutch National Opera on national and international tours, come to around 290,000. These figures, too, are comparable to 2019, when the total audience numbers were around 288,000. 

The biggest audience favourites of calendar year 2023 were: Die Zauberflöte, Lohengrin, Animal Farm, Innocence, Lohengrin and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Dutch National Opera) and Swan Lake, Dorian, Giselle, Raymonda and Four Temperaments (Dutch National Ballet), and the joint production Messa da Requiem.