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51 minutes ago, alison said:

it was highly instructive this morning to see just how much resistance there's been among the subscribers to the grossly inflated prices...........The tickets have largely gone now, I think, so I guess it's to members of the public who won't know any better - and as I've said before, once they realise how poor the view is from those seats, they'll probably assume they can't afford anything better, and most likely won't return.

 

I wonder if that is right Alison....would there be that many  members of the public who  are not previously familiar with those seats,  do not check the view from the seat on the website prior to  booking,  yet are  sufficiently familiar with  the ROH  to snap up the seats on the first morning of general booking?

 

 

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1 hour ago, alison said:

As for Romeo & Frankenstein

 

That makes it look like a single ballet, which would certainly be an interesting piece!

 

In terms of booking for ballet and opera, I spent 14 years, up until this year, only booking for opera, feeling that by the time I'd bought the opera tickets I wanted I couldn't afford to explore ballet too. Having seen a couple of cinecasts & a few Insight event livestreams over the last year or so I became more interested in seeing ballet. In the autumn booking period there was only 1 opera I wanted & in the winter booking period none so I finally felt I could afford to give the Royal Ballet a go. I've seriously fallen for it. Therefore today's booking is the most I've ever spent in one ROH booking period & that's without being able to get all the operas I wanted. I fear that ballet - where more than opera a fairly unrestricted view seems to be required - is proving a very expensive addition to my theatregoing roster (already involving opera, musicals, plays & improv).

 

ETA: I suppose it shows that the cinecasts & livestreams have been successful in getting at least 1 person to start going to live ballet (again - I did see some as a child & when at uni), but I suspect I don't count in their new audience figures given my years of opera attendance.

Edited by Dawnstar
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Hahaha Dawnstar, my experience of getting "into" ballet was very similar! For well over 10 years I received all the Royal Ballet details along with the Royal Opera ones but would simply never bother reading those pages of the magazine...

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25 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

I wonder if that is right Alison....would there be that many  members of the public who  are not previously familiar with those seats,  do not check the view from the seat on the website prior to  booking,  yet are  sufficiently familiar with  the ROH  to snap up the seats on the first morning of general booking?

 

 

I think we're (the reasonably-regulars) all aware, Richard, of the difference between what the view from those seats in the photos and the view in reality, when you have people sitting in those nicely empty seats.  They can look perfectly reasonable for the money until you actually sit in them and find you have half the stage missing due to people's heads and so on.  That's why I keep saying I'm sure the powers that be didn't actually sit in those seats for a performance before hoicking the prices.

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19 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

Did you then kick yourself for the years of ignoring it? I'm currently at that stage.

 

Not really, other than the fact that there are certain dancers I wish I'd seen before they retired.  And I still suspect I'm "not a proper ballet fan" because I love my three-act narrative Macmillan dramas and can't bear anything with a plot that you could fit onto the back of a postage stamp but dragged out to 3 hours plus with almost as many divertissements as tutus...

 

When I first started attending ballet I booked a selection of casts for everything, especially the classics, in a deliberate attempt to educate myself about preferred genres and suitability of various dancers to different repertoire.  Since becoming a more informed viewer as a result of this, I've gone back to being a lot more selective.

 

But I digress!

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39 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

 

1 hour ago, alison said:

As for Romeo & Frankenstein

 

That makes it look like a single ballet, which would certainly be an interesting piece!

 

 

 

Sounds like a more interesting plot than Romeo and Juliet.

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29 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

I suppose it shows that the cinecasts & livestreams have been successful in getting at least 1 person to start going to live ballet 

 

Successful for me as well....the cinema got us   hooked on going to  live ballet  performances, and now for me the cinema (though enjoyable) is very much a second choice. For example, we initially thought we would miss the Takada Don Q on 19 Feb because we could see it streamed at the cinema , but when we saw it was Campbell to be partnered with her we decided to lash out for seats at the ROH.  There is always the hope that the filmed version will be out on disc in due course.... 

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26 minutes ago, alison said:

They can look perfectly reasonable for the money until you actually sit in them and find you have half the stage missing due to people's heads and so on.  That's why I keep saying I'm sure the powers that be didn't actually sit in those seats for a performance before hoicking the prices.

Fair point !

 

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54 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

Successful for me as well....the cinema got us   hooked on going to  live ballet  performances, and now for me the cinema (though enjoyable) is very much a second choice. For example, we initially thought we would miss the Takada Don Q on 19 Feb because we could see it streamed at the cinema , but when we saw it was Campbell to be partnered with her we decided to lash out for seats at the ROH.  There is always the hope that the filmed version will be out on disc in due course.... 

 

AND there will be replay showings in cinemas on the subsequent Sunday.

The take-up of tickets for Don Q seems to have picked up markedly in recent days.

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1 hour ago, RuthE said:

 

Not really, other than the fact that there are certain dancers I wish I'd seen before they retired.  And I still suspect I'm "not a proper ballet fan" because I love my three-act narrative Macmillan dramas and can't bear anything with a plot that you could fit onto the back of a postage stamp but dragged out to 3 hours plus with almost as many divertissements as tutus...

 

When I first started attending ballet I booked a selection of casts for everything, especially the classics, in a deliberate attempt to educate myself about preferred genres and suitability of various dancers to different repertoire.  Since becoming a more informed viewer as a result of this, I've gone back to being a lot more selective.

 

But I digress!

 

This sounds pretty much exactly what I'm doing now & I suspect I'm going to end up coming to similar conclusions to you. I wonder if this is due to both of us starting with viewing opera then moving to ballet? Out of what I have seen thus far I have much preferred dance where plot is involved rather than dance for the sake of dance, so Mayerling & Manon have been the most satisfying pieces I've seen. (I also very much enjoyed Two Pigeons but then romantic comedy is my favourite genre in all media (opera, plays, films, etc.) so it was ideal for me.) Oddly, I rather enjoy the Nutcracker's divertissements but watching the Bolshoi Bayadere livestream the other week, where Act 2 was nothing but diverts, I found to be interminable. But then I found the Kingdom of the Shades to be equally interminable so I'm not sure where that leaves me. Possibly back at Macmillan!

 

I'm trying to see a variety of casts but it hasn't taken me long to already start having favourites. Since I don't know enough to really distinguish between dancers technically this is based more on their acting & if I instinctively "like" them or not than on their dancing. I probably need to try to narrow the list down a bit though, given I've booked for 4 Romeo & Juliet casts, having been unable to choose between them, but that's not really going to be financially sustainable to do repeatedly!

 

I'm digressing even more!

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

 

Successful for me as well....the cinema got us   hooked on going to  live ballet  performances, and now for me the cinema (though enjoyable) is very much a second choice. For example, we initially thought we would miss the Takada Don Q on 19 Feb because we could see it streamed at the cinema , but when we saw it was Campbell to be partnered with her we decided to lash out for seats at the ROH.  There is always the hope that the filmed version will be out on disc in due course.... 

 

What I'm trying to do is to see casts live who aren't doing the cinecast. Admittedly due to cast changes it's not always working out (Nutcracker, Don Q) but that's the theory. For R&J I've booked to see casts who are not doing the cinecast & then intend to see the cinecast to see Naghdi/Ball (& possibly buy the DVD at some point to see Cuthbertson).

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On 30/01/2019 at 10:44, Xandra Newman said:

HOW on earth is it possible that a world class institution such as the ROH has such a totally inadequate online booking system? Such a struggle to grab a few tickets. I don't know why I put myself through such a frustrating and infuriating experience. Why can't they solve their website/casting lists/booking issues? It's been going on and on. Surely they have the best experts working for them? 

 

A partial answer, if I might repeat what I just posted elsewhere, is on the front page of this morning’s The Times (hope the link works):-

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/at-3-435-per-seat-verdi-fans-are-in-for-a-fright-attheopera-l076mzhpt?shareToken=062944e0ea9b944970af0be73c9e09a8

 

If anyone has trouble accessing the Times story, there is a ripped off version on Mail Online:

 

https://mol.im/a/6664125

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This headline is surely not the publicity the ROH wants..

 

Not very fair though to call the Friends 'members' and say they pay 'up to £2000 for the opportunity to buy in advance' ( all making it sound much more 'elitist') when the vast majority pay less than £100 Friends membership , and being a Friend is not solely about getting early booking.

 

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Mr Beard warned anyone using a ticket bought on Viagogo could be turned away, but he said it was ‘highly unlikely’ members of the Royal Opera House were charging extortionate prices.

 

Humbug, Mr. Beard.  The day before General Booking opened, there were 63 of the Kaufmann/Netrebko dates for sale on just one secondary booking website.  The only people in possession of these tickets would be those who pay for privileged access.  (that'll be all those so-called elites that, last year, he was so keen to eliminate)

 

Mr. Beard sometimes strikes me as not knowing very much about the place he is supposed to run.  Perhaps he should have queried the mechanics of how these tickets could be available for sale before making such a statement.  I am particularly concerned about this 'only 100 seats being on sale to general public.'  This would explain why there was absolutely nothing available when General Booking opened but how can this be defended when public subsidy is involved?

Edited by penelopesimpson
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9 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

I am particularly concerned about this 'only 100 seats being on sale to general public.'

 

I don’t think the Royal Opera House holds back the same percentage of tickets for general booking for each production/performance so by the time general booking opens for Forza/Ring, there’s very little left.  I’m afraid it’s very much a case of averages and over the course of a season the Royal Opera House will no doubt demonstrate that x% of tickets were on sale when general booking opened (I can’t recall what the target is).   Perhaps the Forza publicity will give a bit more impetus to the need for transparency and fairness?  And does anyone know if some secondary sites actually have in their possession the claimed tickets?

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I can't help wondering what those who have paid ridiculously inflated prices on the re-sale market for the privilege of hearing Kaufmann and Nebtrenko are likely to react if the "stars" withdraw at an early stage in the run? Both of them have form for cancelling. The fact that the second cast are scheduled to sing so soon after the first night suggests that the ROH has made contingency plans to deal with the possibility that one or both of the "stars" will either go home early or not turn up at all. 

 

In answer to  an earlier enquiry I suspect that the reason that the ROH doesn't sell the entire season in one go is because most people, or rather the proles aka "the little people who pay taxes" would have to take out a second mortgage to fund their habit or habits which would lead to even more accusations of elitism and exclusion than at present. As long as the arts organisations resident in Bow Street receive public subsidy they have to go through the motions of being accessible even if the marketing department with its sleight of hand;  recategorization of seats programme by programme and general jiggery-pokery with prices  seems to be doing its best to make them accessible only to a monied elite.

 

If the entire ballet programme were to be sold in one go would not the ballet audience complain that they were being required to buy tickets for performances by the Royal Ballet rather than performances by individual dancers? Is not lack of casting details something about which there are all too regular complaints at present? As far as the lack of performances of Britten operas is concerned remember maestro Pappano clearly believes that a true opera lover burns  to hear the third rate verismo repertory which is generally confined to provincial opera houses in Italy rather than Britten. As far as Pappano's conducting is concerned the fact that so little Britten is programmed may be no bad thing as he managed to make Peter Grimes sound more like Berg than any other conductor I have heard. The centenary village hall style staging of Gloriana suggests to me that there is little  empathy or understanding of the composer and his works to be found among the current artistic management of the "opera company".

 

Alex Beard  gives me the impression that he is merely a front man who has no real power and no understanding of how an opera or ballet company should operate. He never seems to be there in the evening to see the curtain go up and deal with emergencies in the way that Tooley and Isaacs did. His job is simply to deliver the script that he has been given however far removed from reality his scripted statements may be. 

 

Edited by FLOSS
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I agree that selling the whole season at once would be unfeasible and grossly unfair.  It is sad that a wonderful job like running ROH should seemingly have gone to somebody who appears disengaged from both the mechanics and the wonder.  I, too, have remarked that I never see Mr. Beard at ROH, whereas KOH is there virtually all the time.  However, given that he appears to know very little about how the House works, maybe he should take some advice before making press statements.

 

Maybe I am mistaken but I thought it was part of the unspoken covenant with the Arts Council that a certain number of seats for all performances were always held back for General Booking.  This has clearly not been the case with La Forza and I am coming to the view that the malfunction at 0900 may have been a blind to disguise the lack of tickets.  

 

What is particularly appalling is the hypocrisy.  Mr. Beard waffles on about elitism and accessibility and squanders millions building coffee shops, whilst clearly still restricting tickets for crowd-pullers to the very people whom he claims not to want in his Opera House.

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1 hour ago, penelopesimpson said:

The day before General Booking opened, there were 63 of the Kaufmann/Netrebko dates for sale on just one secondary booking website.  The only people in possession of these tickets would be those who pay for privileged access

 

I agree with much of what you say, but it’s possible these tickets came from the allocation made over to the “official” ticket agencies, whose role I have never understood.

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The Open Up £50m investment was a great deal more than ‘coffee shops’ - the Linbury Theatre refurbishment was a significant part of the project.  And I have occasionally seen Alex Beard at performances.

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36 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

 I, too, have remarked that I never see Mr. Beard at ROH, whereas KOH is there virtually all the time. 

 

to be fair, I've seen Alex Beard around the House quite a few times; in the auditorium, walking through the Crush Bar, out on the Amphi terrace both with staff and /or friends/sponsors and so on. I should think a good part of his job is wooing the 1%-ers for philanthropic support, so that would be why he's not in the house every evening as Kevin is when the ballet on

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1 minute ago, zxDaveM said:

 

to be fair, I've seen Alex Beard around the House quite a few times; in the auditorium, walking through the Crush Bar, out on the Amphi terrace both with staff and /or friends/sponsors and so on. 

 

As have I (and he usually says hello, too).  And if you've heard Beard talk about his love for opera from an early age, I don't think any suggestion that he is "disengaged from both the mechanics and the wonder" is correct. 

 

When I was vocally unimpressed by the Open Up project when it was launched, Beard contacted me and arranged to meet for a cup of tea; we met and he gave me a much fuller understanding of the project and the intentions behind it (though some things changed before then).  When we met there was no disguising his enthusiasm for the opera house and the work that is done there.

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10 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

As have I (and he usually says hello, too).  And if you've heard Beard talk about his love for opera from an early age, I don't think any suggestion that he is "disengaged from both the mechanics and the wonder" is correct. 

 

When I was vocally unimpressed by the Open Up project when it was launched, Beard contacted me and arranged to meet for a cup of tea; we met and he gave me a much fuller understanding of the project and the intentions behind it (though some things changed before then).  When we met there was no disguising his enthusiasm for the opera house and the work that is done there.

That is genuinely good to hear so thanks for sharing.  Would it be breaking a confidence to share with us what the wider perspective behind Open-up was?  Of course the Linbury is absolutely lovely but years of chaos for not much else as I far as I can see.

 

He does make some odd statements which lead to my belief that he is not clued up on the mechanics of the place.  It stands to reason that if the only tickets sold are to Friends, then those available on secondary sites have to have come from that same group.  

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2 hours ago, penelopesimpson said:

I am particularly concerned about this 'only 100 seats being on sale to general public.'

 

I would be horrified if that is the case, given that the ROH has committed itself to keeping 20% of the tickets available for public booking for all standard performances.  There should be over 4 times that number.  I hope that either the reporting or the information supplied was wrong.

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I've copied the content relating largely to La Forza del Destino into the thread we already have running on it in Not Dance:

 

If you'd like to comment on it further, please consider that one.

 

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10 minutes ago, alison said:

... the ROH has committed itself to keeping 20% of the tickets available for public booking for all standard performances. 

 

Thanks for the 20% figure Alison but I’m not sure whether it remains a target or what precisely it means.  I think the undertaking was made to the House of Commons Cultre Media and Sport Select Committee back in 2000 and that Committee reported the following:

 

“An undertaking was made by the ROH that a guaranteed minimum of 20 per cent of tickets, at each price range and for every section of the theatre, at performances in the first season were to be made available for sale to the general public through the Box Office when public booking opened for each booking period. However in the event, 50 per cent of its tickets on the main stage were made available to the general public through the Box Office during the first season.”

 

I’m not convinced that this means 20% of tickets are to be made available for general booking in every price category for every performance and I’m pretty sure that season averages will be used.  As I say I’m not sure the 20% target is still in place - I couldn’t see any references to it in the latest Annual Report.

 

A bit more transparency would be welcome.

 

And if I might add for completeness, before booking opens to Friends, 500 or so Patrons have had opportunity to book tickets.  As a Premium 2 Friend, I will often find that favourite seats are not available although I should stress I’m more than happy with the choice.

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1 hour ago, zxDaveM said:

 

to be fair, I've seen Alex Beard around the House quite a few times; in the auditorium, walking through the Crush Bar, out on the Amphi terrace both with staff and /or friends/sponsors and so on. I should think a good part of his job is wooing the 1%-ers for philanthropic support, so that would be why he's not in the house every evening as Kevin is when the ballet on

 

Although of course he doesn't have direct (any?) responsibility for the performance of the company.  KOH seems to have copied Monica Mason's style (and possibly her predecessors'?) of attending virtually all RB performances.

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3 minutes ago, JohnS said:

I’m not convinced that this means 20% of tickets are to be made available for general booking in every price category for every performance and I’m pretty sure that season averages will be used.  

 

That's how I interpret "a guaranteed minimum of 20 per cent of tickets, at each price range and for every section of the theatre", certainly.  I thought it was still in operation ...

 

Anyway, since we know how keen they are to dispense with the regulars, perhaps it should even be increased? :)  [Ducks, runs and hides]

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36 minutes ago, alison said:

 

I would be horrified if that is the case, given that the ROH has committed itself to keeping 20% of the tickets available for public booking for all standard performances.  There should be over 4 times that number.  I hope that either the reporting or the information supplied was wrong.

As far as I can tell, there were NO La Forza seats available when General Booking opened.  I would be delighted to be proved wrong if anybody managed to get any.

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