The Opéra de Paris has announced that it enjoyed a second successive record-breaking year in 2012.
Box office revenue rose an impressive 15% to 65.33 million euros from 56.6 million in 2011 - good news for a house facing public funding cuts.
The rise was partly due to increases in ticket prices and the number of performances, but the attendance ratio of 96%, up from 94% in 2011, also played its part. In case a mere 2% doesn't sound like much to shout about, bear in mind that it represents around 36,000 customers - or enough to fill the Bastille more than six times.
856,581 spectators in total visited the company's two houses, which show opera, ballet and the odd concert. Six operas completely sold out - Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Die lustige Witwe, Capriccio and La Cenerentola - as did six dance programmes. The commercial success has been attributed to artistic director Nicolas Joel's customer-friendly blend of well-known operas, traditional styling and starry names.
Sadly for Joel, he's employed by the French Culture Minister, not Andrew Lloyd Webber. Bums on seats are not the point - those millions of euros in subsidy are supposed to educate the public as well as entertain them. Joel's conservative programming and dull productions are widely believed to be the main reason his contract wasn't renewed from 2015.