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Richard LH

ROH Seat maps and pricing for 2019/20

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Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere-  mods please remove this if need be - but I have just noticed  my ROH account page now includes links to the coloured  seat maps, with prices,  that used to be published, and then went missing. They are there for the Autumn, Winter and Spring Seasons.

I have downloaded them to my PC but the files are too large to upload here, so hopefully these links will work...

https://static.roh.org.uk/seatmaps/2019-20/ROH1920-BP1-Seating+Plans.pdf?_ga=2.90681050.1528449642.1570985255-1611466181.1570985255

https://static.roh.org.uk/seatmaps/2019-20/ROH1920-BP2-Seating-Plans.pdf?_ga=2.266784590.1528449642.1570985255-1611466181.1570985255

https://static.roh.org.uk/seatmaps/2019-20/ROH1920-BP3-Seating-Plans.pdf?_ga=2.266784590.1528449642.1570985255-1611466181.1570985255

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I just had a look at the prices for Fidelio - which fortunately I don't want to see - and nearly passed out. £74 for side stalls circle row C is ridiculous for the view you get from there. On the plus side, the triple bill in the spring booking period is cheap enough that I might only see The Prodigal Son without feeling too guilty about buying a ticket for under an hour of ballet.

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Looking at those seat maps is pretty interesting - there used to be a much bigger gap between the prices for (I think) the royal blue and sage green bands, but that seems to have been evened out, due I think to large increases in prices below the jump. I wonder if Friends who've kept their old copies of the magazine could confirm?

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Many thanks Richard - I haven’t seen these for ages and hadn’t realised they’re still being produced.  

 

That said Tristan stalls circle side seats look wrong as the colours on opposite sides of the house are completely contrasting (eg row A nearest the stage Yellow low numbers or Blue high numbers) - I’d have thought they should be symmetrical as for all other productions.

Edited by JohnS
Removed a couple of double spaces
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I suspect the Tristan pricing is actually correct. I remember there was quite a furore when the production was new about there being a wall across the stage which rendered the singers invisible to one side of the auditorium for much of the time. Last week at the ROH box office I was chatting to one of the assistants about different productions being better viewed from one side of the auditorium or the other & he mentioned that for the next run of Tristan a lot of seats on one side will only be sold in person/by phone so the box office can explain the sightline issues to buyers. I would guess that these are the ones on the auditorium right that are shown as cheaper than the corresponding ones on the left. I guess it could be an opportunity to pick up a bargain if anyone is more insterested in hearing the music than seeing the production. (Frankly many modern Wagner productions are best not seen, in my opinion, which is why I've nto seen much live Wagner!)

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Dawnstar is correct! A lot of the action happens at the extreme stage right: I was lucky enough to have a ticket for house right Upper Slips last time, but had I been opposite I'd have missed a large proportion of the action.

 

(From memory, it wasn't a dividing wall that was the problem, but that the direction forced them against the wall positioned at stage right. I may be mistaken though!)

 

15 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

I guess it could be an opportunity to pick up a bargain if anyone is more insterested in hearing the music than seeing the production.

 

One caveat to this is that if the action is effectively round the corner from you, you won't hear the singing very well either. And my general advice to anyone more interested in hearing rather than seeing is to sit in the Upper Slips, as long as you don't suffer from vertigo or place a premium on comfort, that is!

 

As an aside - ROH publishing the seat map again, together with the care they've taken over T&I pricing, does give me hope that they are truly listening to what people are telling them and, better, acting on it.

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5 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

(From memory, it wasn't a dividing wall that was the problem, but that the direction forced them against the wall positioned at stage right. I may be mistaken though!)

 

I'm sure you're right. I've not seen it so was just going off memories of reviews & comments.

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2 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

Looking at those seat maps is pretty interesting - there used to be a much bigger gap between the prices for (I think) the royal blue and sage green bands, but that seems to have been evened out, due I think to large increases in prices below the jump. I wonder if Friends who've kept their old copies of the magazine could confirm?

 

Below are the prices for the royal blue and sage green bands for Autumn 2017.  The price differential for opera was much greater than that for ballet.  As you say, the gap for Bohème and Zauberflöte this season is far smaller.    I've paired Nutcracker and Beauty as they're normally priced in a similar way. 

 

Edited to add that I've just realised that the 2017 seating bands use different colours to the bands for the current season so I'm not sure that we can learn anything from the information below.  I'm afraid I don't have time to do a more careful analysis.

 

Autumn 2017 Bohème £174 and £97                           Spring 2020 £147 and £109

Autumn 2017 Zauberflöte £140 and £78                      Autumn 2019 £136 and £94

Autumn 2017 Alice £92 and £74

Autumn 2017 Sylvia £80 and £64                               

Autumn 2017 Nutcracker £92 and £74                        Autumn 2019 Sleeping Beauty £115 and £98

Edited by Bluebird
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Thank you, Bluebird - so interesting! I wonder: was the ballet pricing more evenly distributed between the bands than opera across the board, or is there a big break somewhere else? (My recollection is the former, but that might be my memory playing tricks.)

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10 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

Thank you, Bluebird - so interesting! I wonder: was the ballet pricing more evenly distributed between the bands than opera across the board, or is there a big break somewhere else? (My recollection is the former, but that might be my memory playing tricks.)

 

As I wrote when I  edited my post, Lizbie1, the bands were so different in 2017 that it would take a long time to do an accurate comparison of the difference in pricing.  I've tried to scan my charts but I haven't been able to reduce the files to a size which would allow me to post them on the forum.

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5 minutes ago, Bluebird said:

 

As I wrote when I  edited my post, Lizbie1, the bands were so different in 2017 that it would take a long time to do an accurate comparison of the difference in pricing.  I've tried to scan my charts but I haven't been able to reduce the files to a size which would allow me to post them on the forum.

 

I don't want to put you to any more trouble! I remembered there being a big gap somewhere in the pricing for either ballet or opera but couldn't remember which. I think you've answered the question very clearly already :)

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I am always annoyed by the fact that there is a large gap in opera tickets between approx£85 and approx£120. While I can cope with the occasional £80, the jump to£120 is just too much. Ballet doesn't seem to have,such a large gap. I'm rather priced out of opera these days. I'm a bit limited as to where I can sit, and very much feel that I've been pushed out.

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Richard, thank you very much.  It was getting horribly tedious having to go and take screen grabs of every single price category for each production and stick them in a Word document (plus the fact that the seats were all shown in red each time didn't help), so you've saved me a lot of time and effort.  Hopefully now I will at least be able to work out where I can still afford to sit before booking opens, which might even encourage me to book a few more tickets.

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Many thanks for the Tristan comments and apologies for disappearing down the wrong rabbit hole  - I hadn’t realised about the staging. Seems pretty strange that a production was allowed that firstly put so many people at a massive disadvantage and secondly that when revived the disadvantage is repeated at significant cost to the ROH.  I see it’s not just Stalls Circle, but also Grand Tier boxes and Balcony Stalls boxes/side seats where low numbers are much cheaper than high numbers, in some cases by more than £100.  

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1 hour ago, JohnS said:

Many thanks for the Tristan comments and apologies for disappearing down the wrong rabbit hole  - I hadn’t realised about the staging. Seems pretty strange that a production was allowed that firstly put so many people at a massive disadvantage and secondly that when revived the disadvantage is repeated at significant cost to the ROH.  I see it’s not just Stalls Circle, but also Grand Tier boxes and Balcony Stalls boxes/side seats where low numbers are much cheaper than high numbers, in some cases by more than £100.  

 

Yes - I've no idea about this particular production, but 'creatives' don't (or shouldn't) have completely free rein. The challenge is to create something that works for (all of) the audience, not to indulge oneself to the detriment of the audience and/or the presenting house.

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It also emphasises the need for the production team to take a proper look at the production from all aspects of the theatre - not just central stalls/grand tier.  This seems to be a perennial problem that could so readily be sorted.

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Thank you Richard for these links which make life a lot easier when giving information to the friends I book for.   I hadn't noticed that they had been available and I've not had any notification from the Friends about this.  The pricing on individual ballets and operas seems to have disappeared, so I wonder how others will know about the cost of tickets.  Will they appear nearer the booking date?

 

 

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Thank you very much Richard for sharing.

 

14 minutes ago, Margaret said:

 The pricing on individual ballets and operas seems to have disappeared, so I wonder how others will know about the cost of tickets.  Will they appear nearer the booking date?

 

 

 

I noticed the pricing had disappeared for winter programmes a few weeks ago, after friends booking had opened but before general booking (we still have another week!). I complained to the ROH and was told it was a technical glitch and they should be back up soon. 

 

However I am highly doubtful it takes this long to fix such a glitch, for something which isn’t ‘new’ to the site (and if it does I think they need more (experienced) people sorting it!) so I’m now beginning to think they fobbed me off with that reply and the pricing maps are done - perhaps so ‘dynamic pricing’ can be better implemented (although the only way I see this working if they have released pricing maps to friends is by seeing what performances are popular with friends and making those more expensive for the general public on general booking day - which I would have serious concerns about). 

 

I really don’t want to think the worst of ROH, and feel bad for jumping to conclusions and speculating but the fact that we are very close to general booking day with most people who didn’t screenshot prices when available or aren’t a member/viewer of this forum unaware of how much seats will cost them I find very concerning. ROH needs to sort out their website and get the pricing plans back up, I will be writing in again to voice my concerns. 

 

 

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Speaking as someone who used to work in web development and hosting, I can assure (reassure?) you that such things often take a lot of time and effort to resolve, or at least to find a work-around for.

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3 hours ago, JohnS said:

Many thanks for the Tristan comments and apologies for disappearing down the wrong rabbit hole  - I hadn’t realised about the staging. Seems pretty strange that a production was allowed that firstly put so many people at a massive disadvantage and secondly that when revived the disadvantage is repeated at significant cost to the ROH.

 

I had the same problem a few years ago when I went to see Wozzeck at the ROH - except there were no discounts for the seats with a greatly restricted view compared with the ones on the opposite side of the auditorium :( 

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Last word on Tristan - more than 100 seats having to be heavily discounted; say £50 per seat; £5,000 per performance; 5 performances; a broad brush £25,000 Box Office revenue forgone.  And how satisfied will audience members be with the poor view even with the discounts?  I’m tempted to say all for the vanity of the producer but not yet having seen the production perhaps that’s a bit unfair?  

I’m hoping to book for this Spring and will certainly choose my seat with care.

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2 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

Speaking as someone who used to work in web development and hosting, I can assure (reassure?) you that such things often take a lot of time and effort to resolve, or at least to find a work-around for.

 

Thanks Lizbie, I’ll reserve judgement for a bit longer then! 

 

I do wonder though with the pricing map not working why they couldn’t just upload the file Richard has shared into a webpage - just a short post stating they are having technical issues etc but in the meantime having that somewhere on their site would essentially mitigate all my criticisms and facilitate people booking/budgeting in advance. 

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8 hours ago, JohnS said:

It also emphasises the need for the production team to take a proper look at the production from all aspects of the theatre - not just central stalls/grand tier.  This seems to be a perennial problem that could so readily be sorted.

For more years,than I can remember, designers have come,up with splendid sets that are fine for an audience sitting about 15 rows back and bang in the middle. Ballet probably a bit more tricky in that sets tend to be pushed more to the,sides to allow space for dancers, but in the main the poor paying audience frequently gets a raw deal.

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1 hour ago, ninamargaret said:

For more years,than I can remember, designers have come,up with splendid sets that are fine for an audience sitting about 15 rows back and bang in the middle. Ballet probably a bit more tricky in that sets tend to be pushed more to the,sides to allow space for dancers, but in the main the poor paying audience frequently gets a raw deal.

 

I've experienced this with the opera a couple of times recently. For the current production of 'Lucia di Lammermoor,' the front cloth was so low down, that the chorus in particular were  headless for much of the time. I don't expect to see all of the action where I  sit by any means, but can't say I enjoy looking at headless singers! This also happened with 'Lessons in Love and Violence.' Simple solution - raise the front cloth by 5 - 10 ft, and VOILA!!!!! No headless singers. It looked like the productions had been designed with viewing from the stalls, Stalls Circle and Grand Tier viewing in mind only. Ditto 'Billy Budd,' where Jaques Imbrallio was completely invisible during his main aria! This could have been solved if they'd brought him forward by a couple of foot. If someone from the production teams had thought to go round to all parts of the house in the rehearsal process these things could have been picked up on.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Rachel H said:

 

I've experienced this with the opera a couple of times recently. For the current production of 'Lucia di Lammermoor,' the front cloth was so low down, that the chorus in particular were  headless for much of the time. I don't expect to see all of the action where I  sit by any means, but can't say I enjoy looking at headless singers! This also happened with 'Lessons in Love and Violence.' Simple solution - raise the front cloth by 5 - 10 ft, and VOILA!!!!! No headless singers. It looked like the productions had been designed with viewing from the stalls, Stalls Circle and Grand Tier viewing in mind only. Ditto 'Billy Budd,' where Jaques Imbrallio was completely invisible during his main aria! This could have been solved if they'd brought him forward by a couple of foot. If someone from the production teams had thought to go round to all parts of the house in the rehearsal process these things could have been picked up on.

 

 

 

The Billy Budd worked OK from my (cheap) seat but the other two - both directed by Katie Mitchell - certainly didn't, with some crucial action taking place at the extremities and the chorus in Lucia (and I otherwise liked the production!) as you say rendered invisible by the frontcloth.

 

I read somewhere that Katie Mitchell knows about all this but doesn't think it important; that's bad enough, but worse is the ROH's craven unwillingness to put their foot down with directors. Working on the ROH stage with its facilities and casts should be considered a privilege, not a favour.

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On 13/10/2019 at 20:36, Bluebird said:

 

Below are the prices for the royal blue and sage green bands for Autumn 2017.  The price differential for opera was much greater than that for ballet.  As you say, the gap for Bohème and Zauberflöte this season is far smaller.    I've paired Nutcracker and Beauty as they're normally priced in a similar way. 

 

 

22 hours ago, ninamargaret said:

Ballet doesn't seem to have,such a large gap. I'm rather priced out of opera these days. I'm a bit limited as to where I can sit, and very much feel that I've been pushed out.

 

This difference in the opera & ballet pricings was actually one of the reasons I never got round to seeing the RB until this time last year. With opera's big price differences so I've spent years in side stalls circle seats knowing that I'll lose part of the stage but that it's an acceptable trade off given at least you can still hear the singing even when you can't see the singers. A few times I looked at ballet prices & found that while the top price tickets were much lower than for opera, the cheaper tickets side stalls tickets weren't much cheaper. This was for well-known things like Nutcracker. I therefore didn't book as I couldn't afford full view seats but felt restricted view would be much more of a problem than for opera. (Admittedly having now actually tried it, it's not as bad as I thought.)

 

33 minutes ago, Rachel H said:

 

I've experienced this with the opera a couple of times recently. For the current production of 'Lucia di Lammermoor,' the front cloth was so low down, that the chorus in particular were  headless for much of the time. I don't expect to see all of the action where I  sit by any means, but can't say I enjoy looking at headless singers! This also happened with 'Lessons in Love and Violence.' Simple solution - raise the front cloth by 5 - 10 ft, and VOILA!!!!! No headless singers. It looked like the productions had been designed with viewing from the stalls, Stalls Circle and Grand Tier viewing in mind only. Ditto 'Billy Budd,' where Jaques Imbrallio was completely invisible during his main aria! This could have been solved if they'd brought him forward by a couple of foot. If someone from the production teams had thought to go round to all parts of the house in the rehearsal process these things could have been picked up on.

 

 

Billy Budd wasn't great from the stalls circle either in places. At the end I couldn't tell if Billy's hanging had actually been shown or not as Imbrailo's exit up a ladder meant he was cut off by the overhang before he reached the top & I was in row B and not right round to the side. I think the worst opera I've seen from side stalls circle may have been L'Elisir D'Amore, where Alagna was invisible for almost the entirety of Una furtiva lagrima thanks for the director having him sit on a pile of hay bales right over on one side of the stage. Sometimes I think there must have been a lot to be said for the old-fashioned style of opera where the singers all stood front & centre to sing their main arias!

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15 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

Sometimes I think there must have been a lot to be said for the old-fashioned style of opera where the singers all stood front & centre to sing their main arias!

 

I *long* for the return of park and bark sometimes (and I think some singers, if they are famous enough, do exactly that regardless of directors).

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22 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

I *long* for the return of park and bark sometimes (and I think some singers, if they are famous enough, do exactly that regardless of directors).

 

 

Makes me think of a wonderful quote I heard once, which was 'Mr Pavarotti does not do steps.' 🙂

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