Boom in subscribers at the Massimo Theatre (+22 per cent) and great increase in visits. Orlando: culture engine of the city, Giambrone: public involvement rewarded. Exponential growth of the web: accesses to the site from social networks increased by 224 per cent in one year.

Boom in subscriptions at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo for the next season of operas and ballets that opens on Thursday (28 January) with the Götterdämmerung directed by Graham Vick: more than 4600 those who have chosen to buy a subscription compared to 3700 last year, an increase of 21.8 per cent compared to the number of subscribers in the 2015 season, which is a very interesting figure in comparison to both previous years and the national trend on the fruition of shows.

There was also a great increase in the number of guided visits to the theatre, which jumped from 48,000 in 2015 to over 75,000 in just one year, making the Massimo the most visited monument in Palermo after the Palatine Chapel, with an income of over 400,000 euro.

“The statistical data,” says Leoluca Orlando, mayor and president of the Massimo Theatre Foundation, “only confirm what is under everyone’s eyes: the new leadership of the Massimo Theatre has returned a true theatre to the city and its citizens, who reciprocate with enthusiasm and appreciation. The enormous influx of tourists and Palermitani tells us that cultural activities and venues are the engine of our city’s economic development, instruments to feed a direct and induced economy of quality. A big thank you for these results cannot but be directed to the workers, labourers and artists who are the legs on which the theatre rests and who today, with renewed enthusiasm, are making a decisive contribution to this rebirth”.

“These are figures,” says Superintendent Francesco Giambrone, “that reward a participatory and shared idea of the theatre, in which the shows aim to involve many audiences, from young people to families and children. The Massimo Theatre is a place that has opened all its doors, physical and symbolic, that has opened its gates, its staircase, its foyer. A place that wants to offer performances and opportunities to meet every day, and to become more and more a place of reference for the city’.

Audiences already responded to the season last year. The total attendance for operas, ballets and concerts in 2015 was 114,140, compared to 105,000 the previous year. In short, a path of growth has been set in motion, in the name of that ‘pact with the public’ that is also made up of opportunities for performances, meetings and in-depth analysis outside the ‘institutional’ season.

The percentage of the auditoriums was also up, by about 7 per cent: in 2014 it was 67.9 per cent, in 2015 it rose to 72.5 per cent, with a peak for concerts, which reached 80.4 per cent against 51.4 per cent the previous year. “Numbers that satisfy me,” says Giambrone, “and that push us all to do even more. But 2015 was also a year of great numbers for the theatre’s website ( and its social networks. The data, which refer to the period between 19 March 2015 (the date on which the new site went online) and 31 December 2015, compared with the same period in 2014, say that there were more than 193,000 unique users, 17 per cent more, 1,183,000 page views, 46 per cent more, and that accesses to the site from social networks increased by 224 per cent. In terms of social media, 7,152 likes were collected on Facebook, compared to 5,000 the previous year, Twitter followers doubled, and the number of followers doubled.