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Everything posted by penelopesimpson

  1. I echo your sentiments, Floss, although I think that the number of performances of Frankenstein was overly ambitious.
  2. Floss. So brilliantly put. It is all so sad. I used to feel special at the Opera House and I hoped that everybody else who entered got that same little flutter of anticipation, that lifting of the spirits and thrill when you entered the auditorium - even if you'd done it a hundred times before. Now I feel that I enjoy the evening in spite of the many petty trials and tribulations that have to be negotiated along the way. When I think of what we all went through (and I include many of the staff in this) during the Open-up rebuilding, what was it all for? So that people with no connection or desire to have any connection with the Arts could wander in off the street and use free facilities whilst those who paid for said facilities were expected to share them with those who hadn't. Was that really the sum total of the plan so that management could demonstrate their green/inclusivity/diversity/ and a thousand other types of right-on credentials? Okay, we get that nobody cares that the regular attendees are feeling unloved and pinched in the pocket. But I forsee other problems ahead of which I suspect Frankenstein is just a harbinger. The Ampitheatre restaurant is slowly dying since the refurb. Drinks consumption in the bars is notably down, particularly champagne, since the exorbitant price rises and staffing levels have been adjusted accordingly. It won't be long before whoever has the catering contract asks for re-negotiation. When summer comes, how will those who have spent hundreds on tickets and dinner feel about not being able to get a seat on the Ampi Terrace because its full of people enjoying their own refreshments?
  3. You are right John, but it is a hard call. I think when there is a 'problem' of this magnitude, it would be nice if ROH recognised its frequent flyers and made a gesture of recognition of their regular attendance and purchase of full-price tickets. It does seem to me grossly unfair that a real ballet fan without limitless funds ends up sitting in a not-so-good seat whilst students or other selected groups pay a ridiculously low sum for a top-end seat. I think this is a problem that needs to be looked at. But will it? No chance. ROH assumes that its regulars are all elitist money bags whom it despises, even as it exhorts them to spend more. The disconnect between management and regular attendees is now extreme.
  4. A person I never knew or even knew of, but thanks to your amazing and poignant review, I have been privileged to briefly make an acquaintance with.
  5. So what is going on with Frankenstein sales? Two days ago there were about 1400 seats available next Monday, most of them in the stalls. And then, like magic, the same area is nearly full! Are we to assume that the world has just realised that they absolutely must see Frankenstein next Monday or have all London's nurses/firemen/social workers been invited to the party? Or is there some amazing offer on that has been extended to the world with the obvious exclusion of RB regulars? Answers on a postcard, please...
  6. Bruce, that is priceless. But also so sad. Could you send it to Alex Beard?
  7. Brilliant analysis, Geoff. It strikes me that you could apply everything you have said to the whole Open-Up project. I know others believe Alex Beard is a good egg but I have long felt that he is detached from day-to-day management and seems to either not know or not care about the nuts and bolts that make an organisation work. I felt from the beginning that the Open-Up project was a mistake as it clearly lacked any strategic objective, being more concerned with virtue signalling. The result is a hopeless mess of money spent to create areas that are not, in their turn, producing revenue for the Opera House or, at the very least, building audiences for the future. Some areas, notably the Ampitheatre Restaurant, have been reduced to a shadow of their original presence with the resultant negative impact on the bottom line. Quite what we are to make of a marketing department that doesn't understand that the first priority of a website is to be functional, is hard to say. (the same can also be said of the beige carpet) The new design nightmare doesn't work on any level; if you want tickets to a specific event you have to wade through oceans of stuff, much of it peripheral or strictly niche market, and if you are new in town and want to see What's On, well, you'll probably give up and go elsewhere. Meanwhile, ticket prices rise to stratospheric levels, core audiences are no longer communicated with in any meaningful manner, and now we have Frankenstein unlikely to even break even. Yes, heads should certainly roll but the tumbrils are still in cold storage. Nobody seems even to be asking the questions, let alone analysing the answers.
  8. You are certainly right about Don Q Richard. I was totally wrong on this one and said I thought there were too many performances. So much for my knowlege! However, I still think there are far too many of Frankenstein and that, combined with the high ticket prices, has killed it. I am with Lindsay in not liking it at all, but I can understand that others might, especially if it has been reworked. What is strange is that despite mixed reviews when it was premiered, it has been given the same lengthy second run that Winter's Tale and Woolf Works got, both of which generated far more successful reviews than Frankenstein. I just did a quick count. Next Monday you could easily fit everybody in the Stalls.
  9. I haven't had one email about Frankenstein (in dire need of ticket sales) or any pop up ads but have been deluged with DON Q (not in need of ticket sales). This is targeted marketing is it? Does KOH know how little effort has gone behind Frankenstein and how much wasted effort has gone in to Don Q? As for bringing in new audiences, I seem to remember the Chairman making noises about opening up the Opera House so that people could visit it and have coffee or whatever. I don't actually remember anyone ever saying anything about actually attending an opera at the Opera House. I think management at ROH have very little strategy beyond vacuous statements about inclusivity and Open-up. They continually tell us how cash strapped they are but, seemingly, do little about increasing revenue other than using the blunt instrument that is raising ticket prices. And we've all seen how well that has worked with Frankenstein.
  10. There are only 102 Stalls Tickets sold and hardly any in Stalls Circle. They could fit everybody in the Stalls. What a triumph for Marketing - disastrous combination of too many performances at far too high a price.
  11. Discussion about injuries is surely entirely legitimate. We don’t just follow ballet as an entity, we follow the dancers and very many of us have particular favourites. I specifically booked for Corrales and Hayward so have a particular interest In his wellbeing,having had my appetite whetted by his Hungarian officer, and then been disappointed by his Bayadere injury. This is, after all, a discussion forum. It would be deadly dull if all we did was praise specific performances and little else. Equally, I cannot imagine dancers would find the fact that their fans are discussing how keen they are to see them dance intrusive, or anything other than an expression of regard. These people are professional performers, many of them boosting their profiles through social media; they are not highly-strung racehorses to be protected from real life. They understand the importance of their commercial value and like to cultivate a following. Ballet Forum is wonderfully civilised and pretty protective of the dancers who enhance our lives,, but it is not a fan club and I sincerely hope it never will be. Sometimes the list of topics that people would like to put out of bounds seems faintly ridiculous.
  12. My take would be that we have a marketing dept that does not understand its product. I had no desire to see Frankenstein,once being more than enough, but noticed the high prices.
  13. Image heavy, content light wonderfully describes the new Open Up area. (although even the image isn't that good...)
  14. Do you mean the Director of Media blah blah also works at the BBC? Yes, the BBC's obsession is tiresome but there are at least some caveats. Firstly, they are wholly publicly funded and, secondly, they have such a wide variety of programmes that it is reasonable to expect that they attempt to reach a younger audience with some of them. But ballet and opera are always going to be niche and it just so happens that that niche is, generally speaking, amongst more mature groupings.
  15. I still don’t understand why you would want to replace a loyal, committed, often high spending audience with a fickle, hard-to-reach one. Surely it is not just the pursuit of yoof for it’s own sake? Even today’s yoof grow old.
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