Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Met Rush Tickets

Rush line at the metBy the generosity of the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Tickets program, I will sit in the orchestra for tonight's Tosca at the Met for a mere $20. Ticket sales start 2 hours before curtain, & I was advised to join the line by 3:30pm for the 6pm sales time, which I did. I was about number 40 in line. The line starts downstairs & winds through an underground parking garage. However, people complained about fumes from on-going construction, so the management moved us upstairs at around 4:30pm. By 5:30pm the line was quite long, & I wonder if everyone in it was able to get a rush ticket. Once the sales started, things moved very quickly, & I was back in the plaza with ticket in hand within 3 minutes. Seniors are permitted to reserve rush tickets by phone, so they do not have to stand in line. This is most considerate.

This is for the controversial Luc Bondy production, & I hope to hear some booing.

9 comments:

sfmike said...

Well, I do hope you will boo yourself if the production merits it. One of the favorite moments of my operagoing life was being with a bunch of rude standees in the Dress Circle (back when you got to stand there) at the San Francisco Opera House for a "Magic Flute" conducted by the General Director/wannabe conductor Kurt Herbert Adler. The musical pace was so lugubrious that we had to keep waking up to make fun of it. We were fairly polite to the singers at the curtain call, but when old Kurt came out, we burst into La Scala loggione-worthy boos, and the stupid critic at the time from The Chronicle chastised us in print.

I, however, was proud. We knew crap when we heard it, and weren't going to put up with it.

Axel Feldheim said...

What a scrappy bunch you were! But then lugubrious Mozart tempos deserve all the abuse you can heap on them.

Unfortunately, there was no booing at this Tosca from me or anyone else that I could hear. It is rather ugly to look at, but there are just enough surprises to keep one interested, & the principals & the orchestra sounded great. At the moment I'm not sure I understand what the opening night fuss was about.

y2000k said...

May I ask where your orchestra seat was? I'm thinking of doing the Rush tickets in Jan; but I would rather not sit in the back of the orchestra (beneath the overhang). I sat there once and the acoustics is terrible back there.

In any case, I saw Tosca in HD and I actually enjoyed it. The sets didn't bother me much at all; though Act II reminds me of a 1970s communist office.

Axel Feldheim said...

I ended up sitting in the middle of the orchestra, but on the extreme left side, so I was in fact beneath an underhang, even though relatively close to the stage. I agree that the sound in the orchestra is often quite inferior to higher parts of the house. In fact the best sound I heard on my visit was sitting in the family circle side. The only problem is that I could barely see the stage.

Glad you enjoyed the new Tosca. I think the sets are supposed to be deliberately drab. My problem with it is that it is updated, yet they really didn't go far enough. If you are going to make such changes, you could be much more radical.

y2k said...

I actually like Family Circus... ahem, Family Circle, because of its acoustics. And of course, the price is right!

As for Luc Bondy's production, it's kind of a catch22 situation. I've seen a number of European opera productions which are very, very avant-garde; something that I doubt any US companies would ever dare to do. I think Luc Bondy on one hand wants to follow that European tradition to put up a new, shocking production; OTOH, he (or Gelb) doesn't want to pi** off the wealthy but old-fashioned Manhattanites. As a result, we got this new Tosca: not avant-garde enough yet not traditional enough.

Axel Feldheim said...

I agree with your assessment of this Tosca. It is not enough of either thing. I think that's why it is a failure.

Here in San Francisco we got a couple of seasons of Regieoper under Pamela Rosenberg. This proved to be enormously unpopular with the core audience. While concept productions can be interesting, I think they are largely inappropriate for an American audience, which is not looking for a provocative experience when going to the opera.

y2k said...

A friend of mine who lives in SF and subscribes to SFOpera is the exact prototype of audience you just described. She was complaining to me about this "German director" whose vision she just didn't get. I guess while Rosenberg isn't German, she certainly got lots of training in Germany.

We recently saw a couple of productions in Berlin, and I just can't imagine those being staged here in the US without the audience crying blood murder.

Axel Feldheim said...

Precisely. Whether one likes them or not, concept productions do represent the state of the art in opera staging, so we in America are just behind the times. Perhaps audiences in Europe are simply more demographically diverse than those here.

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