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JNC

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  1. Perhaps emailed is the wrong word! I submitted a message via their contact us page, I selected customer services. http://www.roh.org.uk/contact When I’ve contacted before they have been quick to get back (there is someone who I think is called Geoff who is really great at responding) - apart from when I complained about general lack of availability of the Linbury Cross Currents when it took a few days/a week as opposed to the 24 hour turnaround they seem to have for ‘easier’ questions. I note that when I complained about the Linbury availability for the general public they clearly had an PR approved set of text which didn’t answer the questions I asked. (Other responses have been very informative and answered directly by a human rather than a PR mouthpiece!) I don’t know if there is another way to contact them aside from Twitter and of course calling. Depending on how general booking day goes I may tweet them too if I don’t get a response by then also. (You could also tweet the same text at multiple parties including the arts council for example which may be a good way of highlighting the issue to a wider audience.)
  2. I think that’s fair. 2 I would argue would perhaps lead to complaints that it’s not enough so I (as a non friend) would understand 4 tickets - that allows 2 people at 2 performances or 4 or less at 1, or 1 person attending 4 - which is more than enough and fair in my opinion! No one has really touched upon the fact that the lack of a ticket cap means a lot of ‘friends of friends’ will have got their tickets through a friend rather than having a membership themselves. memberships for galleries for example are for individuals (ie one free entry/tickets) or you could get a ‘plus one’ membership where you pay more but can bring a partner/guest. The fact that there is in essence no ticket caps also means that in practice you could have multiple people sharing one friends membership which is highly open to abuse (and not to overuse the word but unfair!) as the membership cost can be split across many people. Surely all it requires is for one person to share a login with their friends? Again, I’m sure the majority of friends respect the system and do not do this but without a ticket cap surely ROH could not prevent this behaviour - unless there is something I’m not aware of? (A ticket cap wouldn’t be necessarily for less popular productions.) Is ROH turning a blind eye to this? I don’t mean to slander friends by any means - I think it’s a good system overall and respect their willingness to support ROH. I just mean to point out further issues I have with the system, and also considering I am not a friend and yet still attend ‘regularly’ (between twice a month and once a week depending what’s on!) spending hundreds of pounds annually on tickets and introducing friends I really am both disappointed and angry at this situation. Anyway I’ve said my piece. I’ll report back if ROH ever respond to my email to them about this.
  3. @Lizbie1 I totally understand your argument and it is good to see things ‘from the other side’ but this was not made clear to either friends or the general public (possibility that friends could buy all tickets leading no availability for the general public). (Also I’m aware you don’t necessarily agree that friends can buy all tickets.) There is an issue of transparency here, as well as an overarching ‘fairness’ /elitism issue. Also - my controversial opinion - as the casting is same for all the nights, is it really necessary for people to go to more than one performance considering the limited availability? Perhaps two maximum to compare different nights, but going to all six seems a bit greedy in my opinion. (I am sure most friends will only be going to one due to the expense you suggest and this is likely to be a rare scenario but I really do sometimes think that people ought to consider others who may like to go and perhaps have restraint?) A ticket cap would have solved this of course and made it fairer for all. This exactly. I think most friends would have happily been able to get a ticket to Fidelio for themselves plus a few plus ones within a capped ticket number. And also understand the need for tickets to held back for the general public. I really hope this is not the direction for ROH. I noted my disappointment with the general public being unable to get tickets for the Linbury Cross Currents bill for example, which was frustrating but more understandable due to the size of the theatres and that it was only 4 performances across two evenings. I’m aware a lot of insight events also sell out to members, and members have benefits such as dress rehearsals etc, so there are other ways to be exclusive without disgruntling others. For a whole set of performances to be inaccessible to the general public is unacceptable in my opinion, especially considering ROH is part taxpayer funded.
  4. It will be interesting to see what (it anything) the Arts Council has to say! Also I wonder if people will make a fuss when general booking opens and they realise they can’t book tickets, what ROH’s response/justification will be!
  5. He was in La Forza and also will be in Fidelio. My point was that I think the demand for La Forza was unexpected - yes it would be popular but there was a lot of general news coverage (which is rare for ballet/opera) about how people struggled to get tickets in general booking as well as the reselling of tickets on sites like viagogo - which were reported ‘neutrally’ but made the ROH not look great and also elitist. There is a thread somewhere on here about it and also if you google it I’m sure you’ll get the articles from that time. Because of that’s ROH will have known that tickets could sell out for friends only for Fidelio (and it seems have actually encouraged this) they can’t defend themselves by claiming some tickets were available for sale on general booking day (which is what they did for La Forza) - only 100 per performance but still better than Fidelio! https://www.roh.org.uk/news/la-forza-del-destino-the-royal-opera-houses-position-on-viagogo https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.classicfm.com/music-news/royal-opera-house-resold-tickets-verdi/
  6. Yes I think there is a limit. I’m guilty of a curtain call snap as much as the next person (although usually I stop after one or two anyway as I’m so far away the photos really aren’t worth it!) but I do think if we all start taking pictures then who would be clapping...I try to clap the majority of the time to ensure my appreciation is heard and also if I do take a picture ensure it’s not raised above my head (so I put it in front of my face) so it’s not blocking anyone. I also think there should only be standing for a standing ovation, however the pictures trend means I feel we’ll see more people standing to take a good shot rather than as part of an ovation!
  7. Thanks for the info! Well it’s just a waiting game now I suppose!
  8. I am incredibly disappointed and feel let down by ROH. As @penelopesimpson and @Dawnstar said earlier if there is a chance that tickets could sell out to friends then ROH should make that clear - in their friends marketing it doesn’t state this, nor does it say anywhere on the Fidelio page or any other ROH page that there is a possibility there will be no tickets available for sale to the general public. On the Fidelio page currently it just says; ‘not yet on sale’ with the general booking date. If it has sold out the very least they could do is inform people so people don’t waste their time on the 24th hoping for a Fidelio ticket! However I still maintain there should be a selection of tickets kept back for general public booking. Firstly, because as a taxpayer funded organisation I think the general public should have access to ALL performances, not just the ‘unpopular’ ones. And secondly because this is what’s fair and right - especially when they claim to not be elitist and all for diverse audiences - this situation has completely undermined that. At least with Forza they could claim unprecedented demand etc but there is no excuse here. Is there a general marketing department or policy team that pushed back against the idea of selling out to friends? I presume either way Alex Beard oked the approach. They need to clarify their policies around this and make them public. And 20% across the whole season is poor and too little. Clearly this hasn’t been a problem as other productions aren’t as popular but can you imagine if suddenly members’ surged in numbers and for example, no Swan Lake tickets were available to the general public? I know the reality is this wouldn’t happen but it could if this is the policy! I’m sure a lot of friends would be completely fine (or at least understanding) of the idea that some tickets would be held back for the general public, so this seemed unnecessarily aggressive from their marketing department... I will be writing in to complain too. Certainly those who purchased tickets to be resold on viagogo should have their tickets cancelled (so they can be resold by ROH) and the members banned. Why they didn’t put a members’ cap on tickets I don’t know! The main reason I go to ROH is for the Royal Ballet. I was just starting to get interested in seeing more opera but was already balking a little at the much higher ticket prices, and this is now another barrier for me and has put me off again. I’m not going to lie and say I’ll never see an opera again at ROH because that would be untrue and I don’t want to limit myself, but if anything this has ironically discouraged me from supporting them as friend (I considered signing up earlier this year) as actually I find I generally get the ballet tickets I want on general booking and I don’t feel like I should have to pay to get tickets anyway - I don’t want to support that tickets could/should sell out to friends only! (Sorry if this has formatted oddly, I moved some things around in the hope that it would make better sense, that paragraph isn’t meant to be in a larger font and I don’t know how to get it back to normal size!)
  9. I wonder when they will announce McRae’s replacement for the second Manon performance, Raymonda and also Sleeping Beauty/Coppelia. We’re not too far away from them now.. I expect Clarke may step up to do the second Manon but the others seem a bit trickier. Do the RB have ‘understudies’? I presume not considering generally those who have always filled in last minute have always been scheduled to perform in the role anyway. I’m sure it’ll work out fine but it seems there would be a lot of ‘doubling up’ of performances for someone to do, so hopefully it can be scheduled in a way that isn’t too taxing but also doesn’t end up messing around the casting that is currently advertised too much. As others have said it’s moments like these where I’m quite in awe of the RB and dancers’ talent. Didn’t Ball learn Mayerling in something ridiculous like 2 weeks when Watson had to pull out? I wonder if we’ll get someone stepping up in this way or if we’ll just have a few male principals doing the rounds in a number of performances!
  10. Or he’s building up strength in class but isn’t fully recovered to put the strain of a heavy performance on it?
  11. I think Ball/Hayward in Manon would definitely work - they were meant to do Unknown Solider together but then Hayward didn’t end up doing it because of Cats, and they also just did the short Cross Currents piece in the Linbury together so clearly it wouldn’t be unexpected for them to pair up! I think that tall men and short women look fine so I wouldn’t have a problem with their height difference (don’t Osipova and Hallberg have a bit of a difference?), I think it only doesn’t work when the woman is noticeably taller than the man when she’s on pointe. Naghdi/Sambe just about pull it off despite her being taller on pointe but it’s just a little bit and I think they look good together (though I haven’t actually seen them do a live performance together but wished I saw them in DQ as the photos look sensational!).
  12. Sensible suggestion Geoff, ROH are generally pretty good at responding so I’m sure they will let you know (even if it’s unfortunately we can’t do anything type of response)
  13. Wow I have to say I’m a bit shocked as well as being disappointed. ROH certainly should not be allowing members of the public (ie non members/friends) to buy ALL of the tickets - I thought the 20% quota was a requirement of them getting public funding - because if public can’t access performances arguably their public funding should be cut/non-existent. If anything I think 20% is too low and more like 30-40% tickets should be kept back! There should be a limit on the number of tickets friends can buy for each performance as otherwise it gets a bit unfair. I’m not advocating further public spending cuts to ROH, merely making the point that as it’s part taxpayer funded/supported (which I think is right to support the arts) then the public should be able to go to ROH for any performances if they want and are willing to pay a reasonable amount. Regardless of the public funding issue I think as part of diversity/open up etc agendas it’s the right thing to do anyway. The fact that ROH are advertising and messaging friends with this message is rather underhand (speaking as a non friend). You shouldn’t have to become a member to see popular shows. I imagine there will only be more disappointment if/when tickets are sold for silly prices by third party sellers...hopefully the bad press from Forza will have stamped this out but perhaps not.
  14. @Dawnstar your review is exactly the same as how I felt after watching that cast last week (although I had Stix-Brunell instead of Choe). Standout was Ball - I hope when Manon comes back he is perhaps paired with someone else (Naghdi’s Manon debut perhaps, or Hayward!). I didn’t dislike Cuthbertson in the role but I would like to see him with someone else as it could be the best Manon!
  15. I feel the ushers would feel a bit uncomfortable with this. It’s one thing to tell someone to stop making noise or taking pictures, another to comment on someone’s personal hygiene which could be taken very badly. The others have simple solutions (just stop doing x), the latter can’t be fixed at that point in time anyway, subject to actually asking the person to leave. I think it isn’t unreasonable to have certain expectations but I feel it would put the ushers in an awkward position!
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