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I am about to book tickets at the Opera Garnier for November triple bill by Paris Opera ballet. Please can I have some advice about where in the theatre is a good place to sit and any tips about visiting the opera house. Thank you

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Always go for a full view of the stage, if you go for a side loge (cheaper) always get a seat in the premiere rang.  I would avoid the Garnier equivalent of the Amphi as the seats are very cramped and uncomfortable.  When I go to Paris I buy expensive tickets and offset the cost by staying at a cheap hotel.

 

Programmes are dear but cast lists are free.

 

Best to call to book tickets in my view, but bear in mind they don't speak English. 

 

The shop now stays open for some time after the performance, good place to rummage for bargain CD's.

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After trying both the Orchestre and Balcon sections I would definitely recommend the latter. IIRC the price is the same, and the Balcon has less cramped seating and better views.

Like MAB I splurge on the tickets and economise elsewhere.

You should register on the website and maybe do a dry run before booking opens - assuming that you'll be booking for something which isn't already on sale. The system automatically assigns seats in the category you choose, but it does give you a view from the seat before you confirm your booking, so you can change the seat if you don't like it. I've always found the site swamped when booking opens, but the queue works quite well. Good luck!

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MAB's advice is sound for those who don't know Palais Garnier well. Those who do (like me), can find ways to get good visibility seats for a tiny fraction of the expensive tickets. This allows me to be at Garnier any time and as many times I want.

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Thank you for this advice - all very welcome. Assoluta, I am also intrigued by your post - anything you are prepared to share?

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Allow some time to wander round the fine and beautiful corridors of this fabulous building, is my tip!

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I've just realized I didn't mention casting in my earlier post.  Unless procedure has changed (I've only been watching operas at the Garnier in the last couple of years), casting is only announced shortly before the performance and long after booking has opened.  The French website Dansomanie speculates on who is likely to dance and probably has some insider information to back up that speculation but that doesn't help with dates.  When casting does appear on the Opera's website it will be listed as distribution but by that time only the dearest and cheapest seats are likely to be available if you are lucky.

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If all the seats are sold by the time casting comes out, you can subscribe on the official website to be notified of returns. Alternatively, if you are in a position to check the website regularly, seats often pop up, just as they do for the ROH. Both these options may leave you with Hobson's Choice but, whatever you do, don't go for the second row around the sides.

 

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Casting for POB is still announced a long time after booking has opened. Announcements are normally made in two steps

- pre-casting, showing the names of dancers for the main roles for the whole run i.e., not by date

- casting by date; this can be published as little as a week or two before the opening night ... or even on the day of the opening night, as for the current Robbins/ Balanchine/ Cherkaoui & Jalet triple bill

 

Dansomanie provides unofficial and provisional information with regards to casting in the same two steps however a good few weeks earlier ... this is however still way after the booking has opened. To give some examples about timing, see the various threads about POB bills (scroll down beyond the announcements and post-its)

http://www.forum-dansomanie.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=2

 

If you decide to wait with booking until September - there is a Pass' Opera at €50 that gives access to discounts for higher-priced tickets of certain dates of certain works during the 17/18 season https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/ticketing/spectators-offers/pass-opera. Depending on the number of tickets you decide to buy and their full price, purchasing the pass can lead to overall cost savings with just a 2-3 viewings (bearing in mind that, at least in the 16/17 season, the pass could only be used for one performance of a specific bill, and that there is no information on the web site yet as to which performances/works the pass will refer to next season). The pass also allows to buy tickets before the general booking start for the performances that are later in the season. Both the pass and the discounts per performance come in limited quantities. Last-minute discounts for performances that don't sell well often go through the pass, too.  I bought the pass for the 16/17 season and, while I didn't use it very often, it gave me piece of mind as it allowed me to buy tickets before the general booking start for later works. Finally, there is also a monthly flash sale of tickets with discounted tickets for performances that don't sell well, or tickets for performances that are otherwise sold out. https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/ticketing/spectators-offers/les-rendez-vous-du-mercredi

 

 

 

 

 

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