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ROH: Winter season public booking 2018-19

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Well that's £43 to £85 then absolutely ridiculous I'm sure I'm going to love the Patineurs triple as much as R and J but I suppose it's supply and demand and all that .....they know they can more or less fill the theatre for R and J I suppose.

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Yes Don Q prices are huge, made worse by the lack of matinee reductions. I was lucky enough to get 1 side stall circle seat for £45 to see Marianella and Vadim. All other side stalls circle Don Q performances I wanted started at £60; way out of my price range. The £45 ticket was the most expensive I bought. All other Don Qs I bought were in amphi. but did get some side stalls circle for the Winter Dreams triple and both 2 Pigeons double bills. Average price paid £34 which isn't too bad I suppose. Ticket prices for Arsenal Football club £16 to £97 so fairly similar for top class entertainment though of course a football match doesn't last as long as a 3 act ballet.

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Just checked the Don Q prices again and the side stalls circle I paid £45 for (C93) is actually selling for £24 in the Asphodel mixed bill. Even allowing for full length ballets being more expensive than triples this seems to be quite a mark up.

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5 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

 

This production of Don Q is not widely admired (I like it but hey!).  Les Patineurs is not performed often enough so I am not surprised tickets have been snapped up early.

Maybe, but still I would not be surprised if more seats appear available in due course.

But if this is not a glitch, and the lack of tickets for this triple bill at public booking is really because most of them have been bagged by those regulars who can book in advance, I suppose this could be argued as an example of the need for some sort of redistribution in allocation. But it may also be difficult for the marketing dept. to avoid the unfortunate conclusion that this particular bill was under-priced. These are all  complex issues and I can see it must be difficult for the decision makers involved to get it right and please all concerned.

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I don't think it was underpriced - I think the others on at the same time are overpriced, hence people like me choosing Les Patineurs as my winter ballet rather than Don Q! 

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3 minutes ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

I don't think it was underpriced - I think the others on at the same time are overpriced, hence people like me choosing Les Patineurs as my winter ballet rather than Don Q! 

 

Well I for one am very excited for Les Patineurs. Such a great Christmasy show instead of nutcracker.  Don Q does not interest me. Having said that I got one of the last tickets today for the 18th. It is great to see shows doing well. Maylering, the night I saw it with Osipova, was empty in spots.

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Really?  Those shows were all showing sold out, or as good as.  Possibly a lot of people just didn't bother turning up after Watson had to withdraw?

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5 hours ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

I don't think it was underpriced - I think the others on at the same time are overpriced, hence people like me choosing Les Patineurs as my winter ballet rather than Don Q! 

 

Hardly underpriced, with some seats having gone up by close to 100%!  (What does that say about the prices for the other productions?)

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5 hours ago, alison said:

Really?  Those shows were all showing sold out, or as good as.  Possibly a lot of people just didn't bother turning up after Watson had to withdraw?

 

Figured that was the case.

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I tried to upload a photo here but it exceeded the maximum size limit- for Don Q  they are selling 'view obstructed by tier ledge'  balcony seats for £73, and 'view obstructed by pillar/standing places behind' stalls seats for £60....

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5 hours ago, alison said:

Really?  Those shows were all showing sold out, or as good as.  Possibly a lot of people just didn't bother turning up after Watson had to withdraw?

 

I don't think 'a lot of people' would have done this. Anyone who knows anything about Mayerling would know that Watson, however brilliant he may be/is, is not crucial to the success of the ballet. And how many people buy a ticket for something and then just 'don't bother to turn up'? They must be very careless with their money if so, and also careless about theatre and the people who 'bother' to put shows on.

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6 hours ago, alison said:

Really?  Those shows were all showing sold out, or as good as.  Possibly a lot of people just didn't bother turning up after Watson had to withdraw?

 

If this was in the 'really, really expensive' area of the ROH it could have been that corporate clients didn't want to go to a ballet with which they were unfamiliar.

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3 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

If this was in the 'really, really expensive' area of the ROH it could have been that corporate clients didn't want to go to a ballet with which they were unfamiliar.

 

But wouldn't there be an arrangement that if the seats weren't going to be used they could be sold at a given time before the performance? That's how it worked when a company I worked for had permanent tickets at the Royal Albert Hall, to ensure that there weren't empty seats.

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19 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

But wouldn't there be an arrangement that if the seats weren't going to be used they could be sold at a given time before the performance? That's how it worked when a company I worked for had permanent tickets at the Royal Albert Hall, to ensure that there weren't empty seats.

 

I vaguely remember that when the Bolshoi Ballet performed at ROH in 1986 after a gap of many years reviewers and audience members complained of empty seats when people outside the theatre were thrusting fistful's of cash in your face to try and get a ticket.  It turns out that a lot of corporate ticket holders were more interested in being seen in the bar than watching the performance...

 

I had fistful's of £20 notes thrust in my face by desperate people trying to buy my amphi ticket to see the Saturday matinee of Spartacus.  Needless to say they couldn't buy it off me (we saw Irek Mukhamedov in the role ... a never forgotten performance!)

 

I think if people are "gifted" a corporate ticket they do not realise they are depriving a genuine fan the opportunity to attend if it's something they don't fancy.

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Hmmm, well I couldn't book yesterday, I was nowhere near a computer until very late last night.

 

However, I often go on the morning after booking opens, to let the rush die down.  Usually, the opening night has fewer options, but the rest of the run has a good selection.  I was amazed at how few seats were left for any of the Les Patineurs triple bill.  I don't think I have ever seen so little choice the day after booking opens. 

 

It just goes to show that something seasonal will be hugely popular.  The one thing that really annoyed me is that I paid by Paypal, and I seem to have made a £3.00 donation that I wasn't aware of. I am usually very good at spotting those, I can't think how I missed this one.  Under the new GDPR regulations, I thought you had to actually tick a box to make that choice, rather than untick it, as apparently happened here?

 

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4 minutes ago, Fonty said:

Hmmm, well I couldn't book yesterday, I was nowhere near a computer until very late last night.

 

However, I often go on the morning after booking opens, to let the rush die down.  Usually, the opening night has fewer options, but the rest of the run has a good selection.  I was amazed at how few seats were left for any of the Les Patineurs triple bill.  I don't think I have ever seen so little choice the day after booking opens. 

 

It just goes to show that something seasonal will be hugely popular.  The one thing that really annoyed me is that I paid by Paypal, and I seem to have made a £3.00 donation that I wasn't aware of. I am usually very good at spotting those, I can't think how I missed this one.  Under the new GDPR regulations, I thought you had to actually tick a box to make that choice, rather than untick it, as apparently happened here?

 

 

I donated by accident too this time. I don't think this way of getting donations should be allowed.

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12 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

I donated by accident too this time. I don't think this way of getting donations should be allowed.

 

If you call the ROH Box Office and tell them it was done by accident, , they’ll usually refund it

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I've emailed them, Bluebird.  I can't remember the last time I telephoned anyone. 🙂

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14 hours ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

I don't think it was underpriced - I think the others on at the same time are overpriced, hence people like me choosing Les Patineurs as my winter ballet rather than Don Q! 

 

8 hours ago, alison said:

 

Hardly underpriced, with some seats having gone up by close to 100%!  (What does that say about the prices for the other productions?)

What I was suggesting is that unfortunately the marketing dept. may see it as under-priced, by dint of the exceptional early take up. Of course as customers we would all rather they looked at it the other  way round, and regarded other productions as  over-priced.

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Not under-priced, simply under-scheduled.  I recommended this one to friends who don't usually get their act together, and told them to get in on the first day of public booking if they wanted tickets.  I bet they haven't.  Why there are only 6 performances (all of which I've booked) when some other bills get 7 or 8, I don't know.

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1 hour ago, alison said:

Not under-priced, simply under-scheduled.  I recommended this one to friends who don't usually get their act together, and told them to get in on the first day of public booking if they wanted tickets.  I bet they haven't.  Why there are only 6 performances (all of which I've booked) when some other bills get 7 or 8, I don't know.

 

I was amazed to see so few performances.  I could have told them this would be popular, especially as a lot of people on this website (including me) have been suggesting for years that Les Patineurs would be a perfect Christmas ballet.  Lots of people will be thinking the same thing - seasonal treat. 

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1 hour ago, Fonty said:

 

I was amazed to see so few performances.  I could have told them this would be popular, especially as a lot of people on this website (including me) have been suggesting for years that Les Patineurs would be a perfect Christmas ballet.  Lots of people will be thinking the same thing - seasonal treat. 

 

Especially as all the Nutcrackers came under Autumn booking.  I’m sure in the past the later ones came under Winter booking?  All the Nutcracker performances in the Christmas holidays are already sold out so Patineurs was bound to be popular.  

 

Under-scheduling doesn’t explain how tickets for general booking were allocated though.  🙁

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Nutcracker usually in the autumn (first) booking period of the season, I'm guessing because it will always sell out, and will sell out at premium prices, and so fill the coffers

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I don't think that it's simply a question of the Les Patineurs programme being "seasonal" and therefore popular. After all Les Patineurs is a ballet which can be danced at any time of the year with success as it is still the highly entertaining work it was when it was first staged in 1937. It enables management to give opportunities to young and relatively inexperienced dancers to show what they can do without placing too much pressure on them as performers or damaging the effectiveness of the ballet. If you want to examine the work very closely it becomes pretty clear which roles are the preserve of the technically strong and experienced dancers and those which can be danced by a wider range of dancers, but the work is so cleverly constructed that you really have to look hard to identify which bits are which. As far as I am concerned I was quite happy to book for all three casts on the basis of the casting for the Blue Skater. I am more than happy to let the rest of the cast come as a pleasant surprise because of all the potential lurking in the lower ranks of the company. I shall not complain if, apart from those already named, no one higher than the rank of Soloist appears in it. I am expecting Kevin to use this revival as an opportunity to show us a range of dancers who have not, as yet, done that much except appear in the corps or get walk on roles. In that context the name Aumeer immediately springs to mind. I don't think that those who have been complaining about the lack of casting detail for this ballet will have much to complain about if dancers in the lower ranks such as Dubreuil , Serrano, Aumeer and Chisato are given their opportunity to reveal their potential. 

 

As far as the audience's apparent enthusiasm for this mixed bill is concerned I don't think that anyone will have anticipated such a strong demand for tickets. Six performances has become the norm for the company's mixed bills as the opera house audience generally prefers full length ballets of which they have heard to programmes which include unfamiliar works even if they offer the opportunity to see half the company's Principal dancers, and of course they don't generate as much income. I imagine that the audience for this programme will include people who were slow off the mark when it came to booking tickets for the Opera House Nutcracker; those  with children who have declared themselves bored by Nutcracker because it does not have a decent story and those with children who have decided that they are far too sophisticated for such childish fare. There comes a time in the lives of most children taken to ballet performances as a Christmas treat when they are ready to move away from works which appear to have been created for children. All in all this triple bill  is an ideal programme for such sophisticated grown up children and their accompanying adults, because even if the younger members of the party find Winter Dreams a bit boring it will almost certainly appeal to the accompanying adults as its casts provide the opportunity to see a range of dancers in the company's highest ranks, and there is always the Concert to look forward to. The lack of casting detail for Les Patineurs and the Concert, whatever the reason for it, gives Kevin the opportunity to make casting decisions for both works much closer to the date of the performance than is usually the case and should mean that he will give development opportunities to the company's junior dancers. Of course as far as the casting for the Concert is concerned those decisions are not necessarily entirely within his control. Perhaps the custodians of the Robbins repertory have yet to make their casting decisions.

 

I can only hope that a similar level of enthusiasm develops for the two programmes which include the Two Pigeons as I should hate to see it disappear from the company's repertory again. I can't help thinking that it would be better for all of us, if, instead playing games with ticket prices the marketing department actually set about performing the function which the word "marketing" suggests is its responsibility, which is selling tickets.Whatever the marketing department does it is never going to convert the hard core loyalist ballet audience into an amenable one which books for the " Opera House Experience " of wining, dining and a performance which is, at best, merely of secondary importance. I can't help wondering what happens to a ballet company which loses its loyal following  and becomes a provider of corporate entertainment and part of the local tourist industry? I am not suggesting that the presence of any one of us at a performance is essential to the continued existence of the Royal Ballet and its artistic integrity but I can't help wondering what would happen to a company which lost its supportive knowledgeable local audience and found itself performing to audiences who know and care little for the art form and only go to performances as part of the  " Opera House Experience " or part of the "London Experience"?

 

Comments on the Dansomanie Forum website about the machinations of the ROH's marketing department suggests that Parisian ballet goers associate a similar, although perhaps a less blatant, manipulation of ticket prices at the POB not only with the loss of a knowledgeable local audience but a diminution in the range of the repertory performed there , the number of performances of its nineteenth century repertory it gives and the neglect of works by Lifar and other choreographers which are part of the local tradition and the company's historical repertory. Of course it is possible that there was no causal connection whatsoever between the loss of the hard core Parisian " regulars" and these repertory changes and it is simply coincidence that they occurred at about the same time. Whether or not there was a causal connection between the POB's  price rises and the neglect of the company's historical repertory there is no doubt in my mind that the policy indicated an indifference to the artform and the continuation of the classical tradition. Perhaps these first steps by the ROH's marketing department should raise serious concerns about the future of classical ballet at Bow Street. After all a quick fix which has apparently boosted the revenues of companies elsewhere might be particularly welcome to a marketing department which seems incapable of performing its basic job of selling tickets. 

Edited by FLOSS
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Just a heads up - there are suddenly quite a few very good stalls/stalls circle tickets online for Les Patineurs. I was just able to grab front row tickets for 2 performances. I guess it must have been a glitch yesterday then because I didn't see any of these tickets on the website when public booking opened. 

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Feeling a bit frustrated as I tried to exchange my partner's tickets for better ones (he was at work but had previously told me it would be okay) and even though I was able to reference the order number, our name and address etc they wouldn't do the exchange for 'data protection reasons', so he had to phone them from work to tell them I had permission to exchange the tickets, by which time the ones I wanted had gone. I guess it's good that they take security seriously but it was a major faff!

 

Edited by aliceinwoolfland

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8 minutes ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

Feeling a bit frustrated as I tried to exchange my partner's tickets for better ones (he was at work but had previously told me it would be okay) and even though I was able to reference the order number, our name and address etc they wouldn't do the exchange for 'data protection reasons', so he had to phone them from work to tell them I had permission to exchange the tickets, by which time the ones I wanted had gone. I guess it's good that they take security seriously but it was a major faff!

 

 

If you're wanting to do that, I would suggest you hold the "new" tickets in your basket right up until the box office person is ready to do the exchange.

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I did but then the booking expired and then someone else snatched them up before I could add them to my basket again :( 

Edited by aliceinwoolfland

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