Turning A Musical Into A Concert Experience: Semmel Concerts Is On To Something

Elisabeth – Das Musical
– Elisabeth – Das Musical
A musical in a “semi-concert version,” according to Semmel Concerts
“Taking brands or event concepts no one has ever heard of, and making them big and successful, that’s what motivates us on a daily basis,” Semmel Concerts CEO Dieter Semmelmann told Pollstar in a recent interview.
His latest example of this approach is the transformation a musical into an open-air production that could also work in arenas, seeing that the first attempt sold 22,000 tickets.
The musical in question is “Elisabeth” by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, which portrays the life and death of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Semmel Concerts promoted the musical in a “semi-concert version” at the main courtyard of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.
To Semmel Concert, it proved that a musical, which usually attracts much smaller audiences, can work in an “arena format.” Given the demand, three performances of “Elisabeth – das Musical” have already been confirmed for June 25-27, 2020, at the same location.
The capacity will be increased to 35,000 tickets.
A successful team
VBW / Showfactory / Herwig Prammer
– A successful team
From left: Franz Patay (CEO United Stages Vienna), Klaus Panholzer (CEO of Schönbrunn Palace

“Elisabeth” first premiered in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in 1992. Since then, it has travelled the world, taking up residencies in Belgium, China, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland, selling more than 11 million tickets in total, and being translated into seven languages.
Produced by Vereinigte Bühnen Wien (United Stages Vienna), the musical first premiered outside of Austria in Japan in 1996.
Semmelmann said he was very happy with the way everyone involved executed the idea of turning a musical into a concert-like production. “I’m especially honored that the authors of the play, Sylvester Levay and Dr. Michael Kunze, were so thrilled. We thank them, and also United Stages Vienna, in particular CEO Franz Pattay and director Christian Struppeck, for their trust, and look forward to a continuation.”