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The BMW Group announces global partnership with the Bayerische Staatsoper. Expansion of long-term partnership is a contribution to social responsibility efforts and provides new impulses for the renowned Munich opera house.

Marking the year of the 50th anniversary of cultural commitment, the BMW Group is building up on its cooperation with the Bayerische Staatsoper by becoming the Global Partner. The automotive manufacturer and the opera house have been successful partners since 1997. On the occasion of their 25th anniversary, existing collaborations such as Opera for all will continue while also focussing on the development of digital formats to reach a broader audience.

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Munich. Marking the year of the 50th anniversary of cultural commitment, the BMW Group is building up on its cooperation with the Bayerische Staatsoper by becoming the Global Partner.The automotive manufacturer and the opera house have been successful partners since 1997. On the occasion of their 25th anniversary and with Serge Dorny as designated General Manager as well as Vladimir Jurowski as designated General Music Director, existing collaborations such as Opera for all will continue while also focussing on the development of digital formats to reach a broader audience for the internationally renowned opera house. During the challenging times of the pandemic, the BMW Group leads the way as corporate citizen and contributes to social responsibility.

As one of the world’s leading opera houses, the Bayerische Staatsoper looks back proudly on a cultural history of over 350 years. With some 600,000 guests attending its over 400 performances each year, the Bayerische Staatsoper makes a major contribution to Munich’s reputation as one of the great international cultural capitals.

As partners, BMW and the Bayerische Staatsoper jointly initiated Opera for all in 1997, including the live broadcast of an opera as well as the open-air concert of the Bayerische Staatsorchester. By presenting opera outside the opera house and open air, new ways of accessing the world of opera were championed, especially for a broader audience. Since the beginning, admission has always been offered free of charge.

As Global Partner, BMW is becoming the major partner of the Bayerische Staatsoper. Starting with the 2021/2022 season, the opera house will experience new impulses together with Serge Dorny as designated General Manager and Vladimir Jurowski as designated General Music Director, while pursuing an open-door policy and presenting modern and new perspectives to its audiences from Munich and beyond.

Serge Dorny, designated General Manager of the Bayerische Staatsoper: “I am delighted that the long-term partnership of BMW and the Bayerische Staatsoper will become more extensive still. In these challenging times, that is not at all a given! As designated General Manager of the Bayerische Staatsoper, I want to preserve as well as strengthen the opera’s social relevance, I want to be present within the city on many different platforms and bring our excellence also to the outside. Together with BMW we will continue to combine tradition and innovation. We will take the chance to use the opportunities of digitalization and social media as a new stage to reach an even more diverse audience for the opera of the future. I am very much looking forward to our collaboration.”

Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Human Resources, Labour Relations Director: “I am not only proud of our longstanding and successful partnership with the Bayerische Staatsoper but also of the prospect of building up on our cooperation by becoming global partner. Together with Serge Dorny and Vladimir Jurowski, we welcome novel and fresh ideas in Munich. The BMW Group’s commitment in the fields of art and culture are an integral part of social responsibility and as a corporate citizen, BMW believes in the importance of contributing to society. With this in mind, I am very much looking forward to our upcoming projects with the Bayerische Staatsoper and our joint next steps towards the future.”

Using the hashtag #BMWOPERANEXT, the BMW Group works with its partners from the world of classical music to develop projects that make the most of the company’s strong orientation towards digitalization as well as of its global network of experts to open up new perspectives. The initiative has proven successful since 2018 as part of the partnership with Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin.

For 50 years, BMW is committed to cultural engagement around the world and takes its social responsibility seriously as a corporate citizen. Over a hundred long-term cultural initiatives of the BMW Group in the fields of modern and contemporary art, classical music, jazz and sound as well as in architecture and design have been well established throughout the decades. In the field of music, the numerous initiatives are as multi-faceted as they are sustainable - including chamber concerts featuring contemporary music, large-scale events for cultural and musical education as well as open-air concerts with renowned opera houses and orchestras. Opera for all is part of a series of open-air concerts that the BMW Group hosts in Berlin, London and Moscow offering hundreds of thousands the opportunity to enjoy outstanding classical music in an extraordinary atmosphere.


For further information please contact:
Nicole Stempinsky
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
Telephone:+49 151 174 177 25


Michael Wuerges
Bayerische Staatsoper
Director Strategic Communications, Press


About Serge Dorny
Serge Dorny was born in Wevelgem in Belgium. He began his theatre career in the dramaturge team under Gerard Mortier at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, moving from here to the Festival of Flanders, where was appointed Artistic Director in 1987. He revitalised the festival programme with a new repertoire and an innovative offering of baroque and contemporary, invited big, significant orchestras and engaged a series of conductors starting out on their careers, among them Iván Fischer, Valery Gergiev, Simon Rattle and Esa-Pekka Salonen, for example. He was appointed General Director and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996, where he corrected the financial situation and re-established the orchestra’s artistic excellence. Kurt Masur was made Principal Conductor and Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor, and the cooperation with Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons and Wolfgang Sawallisch was intensified. Serge Dorny has pursued an innovative artistic policy since his appointment as General Director of the Opéra national de Lyon in 2003. His bills has combined major works of the repertoire with lesser-known operas, developed thematic festivals and afforded the music of the 20th century and contemporary works a truly special significance. He has invited outstanding conductors such as William Christie, Lothar Koenigs, Stefano Montanari, Kazushi Ono, Kirill Petrenko, Jérémie Rhorer and Daniele Rustioni, recruited film and theatre directors such as Christophe Honoré, David Marton and Wajdi Mouawad for the opera, and established a continuous cooperation with renowned stage artistes such as Romeo Castellucci, Robert Lepage, La Fura dels Baus (Àlex Ollé), Laurent Pelly, Olivier Py and Dmitri Tcherniakov. His initiative to make the opera house’s artistic offering accessible to audiences that previously had very few points of contact with musical theatre, and to bring them closer with special activities, such as the regular art and culture programme, now enjoys international renown here. In 2017, the Opéra national de Lyon was named Opera House of the Year by the British press’s International Opera Awards and also declared Opera House of the Year with the “Opernwelt” specialist opera journal’s critics' vote. Serge Dorny is a Board Member of the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels, of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon. He is a regular juror with international music contests. From 2008 to 2014, he was a lecturer at the University of Zurich on the Executive Master in Arts Administration study course, and he has taught at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan since 2016. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Montreal in 2008. He is a Knight of the French Legion of Honour and the Belgian Order of the Crown.

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