The Friends initiate all kinds of projects linked to the National Theatre and do a great deal to support music and up-and-coming musicians. We would very much welcome your help.

The new Friends’ Foyer.

Waking to new life!

There are plans to create a new and exceptional venue for opera lovers. The gloomy northern entrance hall, which until now has been largely neglected, will undergo renovation in the upcoming season and be kitted out with works of art and its own bar. A fantastic lighting design, contemporary art, ample seating and a drinks counter are set to turn the area into the perfect meeting place. This project was started and is managed by the “Friends of the National Theatre”. The walls will be adorned with a large video portrait of Kirill Petrenko alongside a series of photographic portraits of the Bavarian State Orchestra taken by the renowned artist Christoph Brech.

As a small thank you, all those who donate over 300 euros will be invited to a concert dress rehearsal with Kirill Petrenko and will of course receive a receipt to claim a tax deduction. If you donate more than 800, 1,500 or 5,000 euros, you can expect even more special and exciting surprises. Call us to find out more.

Lighting up the National Theatre

Can you make out the National Theatre at night?

The Friends of the National Theatre are joining forces with OSRAM to create a beacon of light on Max-Joseph-Platz – the National Theatre’s newly illuminated façade. The lighting will be installed during the summer recess of 2017. Besides co-funding this project, OSRAM is responsible for the design, planning and lighting technology. Our members conducted an extremely intensive fundraising campaign to secure the remaining six-figure sum required to complete the installation.

Date for your diary:
The grand ceremony to switch on the new lighting will take place on 2nd November 2017. Further details will be announced closer to the time.

The Bavarian State Opera’s Opera Studio


Since the Bavarian State Opera’s Opera Studio opened its doors, the Friends of the National Theatre have supported this world-renowned institution by sponsoring productions (2017: The Consul), with monetary donations, by organising concerts and, most recently, by providing affordable accommodation.

This is a meaningful investment in the future of the operatic stage.

Date for your diary:
Members of the Opera Studio and the Orchestra Academy will be performing the annual Passion Concert on 2nd March 2018.

The Orchestra Academy of the Bavarian State Orchestra


The Orchestra Academy of the Bavarian State Orchestra was founded in 2002 in order to pass on the centuries-old tradition of one of Germany’s most long-standing orchestras to young musicians – and thus help the special sound and playing culture of this unique orchestra thrive for generations to come.

The Friends of the National Theatre support the Academy’s aim of enabling budding musicians to experience playing in an orchestra under professional conditions – focussing on operatic scores with their special requirements, but also performing symphonies. This mainly takes the form of financial assistance and providing affordable accommodation, but also by enabling young orchestral musicians to undergo audition training that is unique in the world.

Date for your diary:
Members of the Opera Studio and the Orchestra Academy will be performing the annual Passion Concert on 2nd March 2018.

Portrait Gallery in the National Theatre

Where fine art meets great voices.

The National Theatre’s Portrait Gallery is both part and a record of Munich’s operatic history. It bears witness to the outstanding artists who have been linked with the Bavarian State Opera. Founded by General Director Ernst von Possart entirely with private funds in 1899, this collection depicts the familiar faces that have graced the stage with its portraits by the artists of their times.

The Friends of the National Theatre have been the patrons and managers of this unique collection in the world of opera since 1963 and regularly renew and expand the collection.

In 2013, the Gallery was updated with new portraits including Julia Várady, Jonas Kaufmann, Kurt Moll, Waltraud Meier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Fritz Wunderlich and Diana Damrau. These are now on long-term display in the front building of the National Theatre, where they form an interesting contrast with the historic paintings.

The Gallery welcomed a new addition on 21st June 2017. Chamber singer Gabriele Schnaut, photographed by Anton Corbijn, has been added to the collection. Why not go and explore…

August Everding Theatre Academy


August Everding’s idea of creating an academic teaching theatre for stage professions under one roof was realised in the form of the Bavarian Theatre Academy, which now offers eight courses in total. Students not only rehearse the skills of their trade, but also get to try them for real on the stages of the Prince Regent and Academy Theatres. This collaboration between Munich’s four universities and its three state theatres offers students a meticulous grounding in their chosen profession.

The August Everding Theatre Academy provides a unique form of teaching and learning – a professional theatre that aims to provide cross-institution, practical training. This is where theatrical skills are taught by means of performing arts in a real theatre.

The Friends of the National Theatre support the Theatre Academy by awarding study grants, sponsoring productions, purchasing musical instruments and providing affordable accommodation.




Bavarian State Opera

Nowadays, the Bavarian State Opera is considered Bavaria’s “cultural flagship”, both in Germany and abroad. In recent years, it has succeeded in reinforcing and extending its ranking among the world’s leading musical theatres. The Bavarian State Opera is also home to the Bavarian State Ballet, which with its uniquely diverse repertoire has also become a company of outstanding international stature.

In the National Theatre, the Bavarian State Opera boasts one of Europe’s largest and most impressive theatre buildings.



Munich’s Prince Regent Theatre, built by Max Littmann from 1900 to 1901, is one of the most splendid art nouveau and classical theatre buildings. From 1944 to 1963, it was the Bavarian State Opera’s home. After that, a new era commenced for the theatre, which lasted until 1988. Besides hosting independent productions, it housed the Bavarian Theatre Academy, which was founded in 1993 by the state of Bavaria at the initiative of August Everding. The Academy is a unique teaching and learning theatre co-run by several universities in Munich (University of Music and Drama, Ludwig Maximilian University, University of Television and Film, Academy of Fine Arts) and the Bavarian State Theatre in Munich.