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Royal Ballet 2022/23 Winter Ticket Prices


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The ROH Winter Magazine has just arrived and contains an insert with the provisional pricing. Front side amphitheatre seats (where many regulars sit) are now priced at £34 for The Sleeping Beauty (a £4 increase compared to the Nutcracker and Mayerling prices). Interestingly, the next price down is £22 and I assume this is for the better Upper Slips seats. These same Upper Slips seats are only £15 for The Magic Flute and The Barber of Seville. This doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense as the wonderful acoustic in the Upper Slips is great for opera but the poorer sightlines should surely mean that the Upper Slips ought to be cheaper for ballet than for opera.

Edited by Bluebird
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Raised prices again??

 

it feels you are penalised for wanting to see productions later in the year with the continual price increases, I can understand nutcracker being priced how it is but to price Sleeping Beauty higher than that…unless they think this will be more popular (doubtful as nutcracker and swan lake must be top tier pricing surely)? 

 

it would be great if they could keep to consistent pricing across a year at least. Will they price sleeping beauty’s spring season even higher? What will Cinderella look like? I dread to think. Woolf works at least looks “affordable”. 

Edited by JNC
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Sleeping Beauty tends to get priced (even) higher than other productions where the RB is concerned, even, seemingly, where there are no obvious costs of a new production to offset.  The 1994 Dowell/Bjornson production was certainly higher, and I think the more recent two, too.

 

Oh well, standing only for me for that one, then.

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Those Sleeping Beauty prices are pretty depressing. Significantly higher than when it was last done 3 years ago & also than this year's equivalent classic Swan Lake. The cheapest stalls being £151 is a massive increase on Swan Lake, where the cheapest stalls were £123. At the rate the side stalls circle prices are going I won't be able to afford to sit there soon, and as I'm not prepared to sit in the amphitheatre, as I can't see the acting from there, that means I won't be going at all.

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I generally have £100 as the absolute top price I will pay at ROH and this has to be for a cast I particularly want to see in a ballet I particularly want to see or an increasingly unique opportunity to see dancers from abroad ( Bolshoi etc) 
Looking at these prices it looks like I will be giving Beauty a miss too unless can pick up a standing ticket. 
Im very fussy with ballet and don’t like sitting in seats with restricted views unless it’s very minor. 

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1 hour ago, Bluebird said:

Front side amphitheatre seats (where many regulars sit) are now priced at £34 for The Sleeping Beauty (a £4 increase compared to the Nutcracker and Mayerling prices).

 

In February 2017 I paid £17 for one of these tickets to Sleeping Beauty. It certainly feels as if this price band has been targeted for particularly sharp increases.

 

It will have to be some pretty special casting - that I've not yet seen - to get me there this time.

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29 minutes ago, LinMM said:

I generally have £100 as the absolute top price I will pay at ROH and this has to be for a cast I particularly want to see in a ballet I particularly want to see or an increasingly unique opportunity to see dancers from abroad ( Bolshoi etc) 
Looking at these prices it looks like I will be giving Beauty a miss too unless can pick up a standing ticket. 
Im very fussy with ballet and don’t like sitting in seats with restricted views unless it’s very minor. 

 

I too try to keep around £100 as a maximum. The package booking discount got the cheapest stalls seats down to about that. Now, with the double whammy of increased ticket prices & the abolition of package booking part-way through the season, the lowest stalls prices are suddenly way over £100.

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There’s no way Woolf Works will sell all or even most of those £101, £109 and £115 tickets unless Alessandra Ferri, Natalia Osipova and Sarah Lamb dance in every performance, especially with Edward Watson and Federico Bonelli now retired. 

 

Depending on where the distribution of those £151 seats are and how many of them there are, we could end up a lot of unsold seats and inadvertent socially distanced seating.... I have no complaints if that’s the show I’m at, haha....but! -given that we’ve said for some years that opera prices are ridiculously inflated for many productions (I accept that for incredible talents like Florez, Jaho, Di Donato, Crowe, Kaufmann et al the inflated prices are fair enough) with decent but not outstanding performers, and that the auditorium is often a quarter empty, and that the cheaper and more consistent RB outsells RO most of the time, maybe this is ROH management’s way of trying to push RB to be more like RO.....which I strongly disapprove of.  I don’t see anything saying that it’s because they are raising the dancers’ pay. Unless they are. 

 

I hope there are still lots of reasonably priced seats for all the loyal fans who aren’t minted. Having lots of empty perishable seats at many shows while their loyal core audiences are forced to stay away, especially during this cost of living crisis period, isn’t the way to go about it either. 

Edited by Emeralds
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7 minutes ago, capybara said:

Ouch! 
I agree that The Sleeping Beauty is going to need some special casting to offset the price pain.

 

Even with special casting, it will reduce the number of performances to which many regulars can go. Which just leads to an overall less knowledgeable audience. 

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Perhaps ballet in future will be subsiding poor opera ticket sales? Several operas in the past season have sold very poorly and the tickets have had to be heavily discounted more than once. At various times this season I’ve entered an ROH raffle via Instagram and though, while not winning it, was offered the chance to buy best available O/S for a substantial discount. I’ve also had several offers from Time Out over the past few months with heavy discounts for several operas & one ballet (LWFC). And, I’ve had a direct ROH mailing offering me a discount on opera.

All the above are great to pick up a spontaneous extra performance but useless if I want a specific seat for a specific show. For my loyalty in buying a Friends membership and early booking it would now seem that I am going to be penalised not rewarded.  Other institutions reward ‘subscribers’ with a discount for early or package booking. eg Sadlers Wells 20% discount. Alas not so the ROH at the time of writing…..

Edited by PeterS
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2 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

Even with special casting, it will reduce the number of performances to which many regulars can go. Which just leads to an overall less knowledgeable audience. 

 

 I sometimes get the feeling that is their aim.

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I have only just had a chance of a quick flick through the Friends Magazine (I will try and remember to take my badge when I go on Saturday!) and really do worry about some of the price increases being proposed. I can quite understand the need for the House to raise revenue to make up the losses incurred due to Covid but I do hope that this doesn't have too detrimental effect on audience numbers. 

 

Whilst Alex Beard refers to the cost pressures the House is facing due to the increases in energy prices and inflation generally, so we are we - the audiences.

 

£170 for the highest-price seat for The Sleeping Beauty? 

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6 hours ago, PeterS said:

Perhaps ballet in future will be subsiding poor opera ticket sales? Several operas in the past season have sold very poorly and the tickets have had to be heavily discounted more than once. At various times this season I’ve entered an ROH raffle via Instagram and though, while not winning it, was offered the chance to buy best available O/S for a substantial discount. I’ve also had several offers from Time Out over the past few months with heavy discounts for several operas & one ballet (LWFC). And, I’ve had a direct ROH mailing offering me a discount on opera.

All the above are great to pick up a spontaneous extra performance but useless if I want a specific seat for a specific show. For my loyalty in buying a Friends membership and early booking it would now seem that I am going to be penalised not rewarded.  Other institutions reward ‘subscribers’ with a discount for early or package booking. eg Sadlers Wells 20% discount. Alas not so the ROH at the time of writing…..

I think RB already subsidises the opera, when some of the awful new regietheater type productions get mounted that most loyal regulars hate, which only fill the house when they slash tickets to £10 or give away for free via some “access” or “community” scheme. 

 

I think most fans who love the art form and the two companies and the venue would rather pay for occasional special galas with high prices that have the specific function of raising funds for the theatre or companies than to be scalped every time they want to support an artist making an important debut in Sleeping Beauty, or to take the kids to see Nutcracker for the first time.

 

I did also did wonder where the Spring Gala from previous years - whose function is precisely to raise funds with showpiece arias, solos and pas de deux - had gone. Why not just stage a few of those? 

 

The fact that they've proposed that all tickets for Sleeping Beauty in the Grand Tier will now be £170 only and that top prices in the Stalls and Stalls Circle are now £170, £160, £151, with those in Balcony being £160, £151, £132 (especially when only the first row of the balcony have unrestricted views in the entire row) is pretty worrying and will place  tremendous pressure on any dancer making their debut as Aurora, Florimund or Lilac Fairy. Can you imagine trying to do the Rose Adagio balances, the difficult Ashton solo for Florimund or negotiating the tough Lilac Fairy pirouettes for the first time  while the audience is thinking “This had better be worth £170”!!  This also leads me to put out this warning tale to them:- 

 

Many years ago, I used to attend symphony concerts at this city in a venue with a resident orchestra. They were a fairly new municipal ensemble in a pretty, well maintained old building (which looked a little like a mini ROH in terms of design and age). The ensemble was good- not famous, but a decent if not world’s best level of skill. Visiting soloists ranged from unknowns to the occasional megastar playing a concert during a stopover en route to more prestigious venues. The management were pretty new to presenting concerts and were still feeling their way as to how to price tickets- it must be pointed out that aside from a basic government grant, most of the concerts were paid for by corporate sponsorship, the list of sponsors being very long.

 

The pricing of the tickets in the good seats - equivalent of all ROH seats from Orchestra Stalls level to Balcony  - were priced very steep, the equivalent to the £170 we’re now reacting in horror to. Prices in their version of the amphitheatre were accessible, at around today’s equivalent of £10 to £25. The end result? Most of the time, the ground level and other good seats were virtually empty while their small (amphitheatre equivalent) balcony would be full. At the end of concerts, the lower levels would have this hollow echo with hardly any people in it while the upper part of the auditorium would resonate with applause. It’s a strange sight to behold and the oddest sound if you’re in the stalls, with all the applause coming from above you. Only when a hugely famous musical superstar soloist was performing would the lower levels be even three quarters full.

 

The routine scenario was that the only people who could fill the pricey seats  were employees of the corporations who were getting complimentary tickets: when it was someone unknown (even though the music was still good) you could see that the seats were being filled by a few families of employees who brought their music student children as a reason to attend....once, some families even got their au pairs to tag along as there were so many otherwise unfilled seats. They often did not attend again till the next year or year after that. 

 

I used to get offered a pair of tickets regularly because my parent worked for one of these corporations, and my music student best friend and I would often be the only patrons in our entire  row.  The performing arts shouldn’t come to this. This is what happens when tickets get so overpriced that the regulars can’t afford it, with the main parts of the house becoming almost empty. I should add that nowadays this ensemble has made artistic improvements and their management has improved in their ticketing practices, so that there are now budget friendly tickets in all parts of the auditorium, with loyal regulars to be found throughout the auditorium and not just in the gods.

 

The Royal Ballet won’t have any trouble filling any complimentary sponsor seats, but I doubt they will give most of the Stalls or Grand Tier away as comps. And how will regular audience members feel paying £340 for a pair of tickets for themselves and a companion knowing that their next door neighbour didn’t pay anything but were just lucky to work for the right company with comp tickets? As a premier league footballer once observed of overinflated pricing,  “Half of the people attending in corporate boxes are completely uninterested in the game and more interested in their prawn sandwiches and networking with other guests, while the real fans are squeezed into fewer fewer affordable seats.”

 

It’s bad for the audience, it’s bad for the performers, and ultimately bad for the longevity of the company. Conversely, probably good news for ENB & BRB’s box office receipts and train company revenues.....

Edited by Emeralds
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I think we were promised some sort of deal to replace the package scheme, but it looks as though it's been quietly forgotten. The outlay for stalls circle seats, which I need because of access problems, plus greatly increased costs of getting taxis to and from the theatre mean, I'm afraid, that ROH will become a rare treat.

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i don't know if this has been commented on before, but i've been looking at ticket prices for BRB Coppélia at the Birmingham Hippodrome.   There is a substantial difference in the price of the same seat depending on the date of the performance.

for example:

                           Front Stalls         Rear Circle

                           Seat L20             Seat X20

26/10 Evening    £48.00               £20.00

27/10 Matinee    £58.00               £26.51

          Evening     £58.00               £26.51    

28/10 Evening    £58.00               £26.51   

29/10 Matinee    £69.00               £32.00    

          Evening     £69.00               £32.00     

 

i know that some theatres price seats differently depending on the day of the week and/or how deep into the run.  this would appear to be the case for the Birmingham Hippodrome too. 

i wonder if this practice is being considered at the ROH?  

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9 hours ago, Emeralds said:

Can you imagine trying to do the Rose Adagio balances, the difficult Ashton solo for Florimund or negotiating the tough Lilac Fairy pirouettes for the first time  while the audience is thinking “This had better be worth £170”!!  

 

I very much doubt that any dancer would be thinking that.  

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28 minutes ago, PeterS said:

i don't know if this has been commented on before, but i've been looking at ticket prices for BRB Coppélia at the Birmingham Hippodrome.   There is a substantial difference in the price of the same seat depending on the date of the performance.

for example:

                           Front Stalls         Rear Circle

                           Seat L20             Seat X20

26/10 Evening    £48.00               £20.00

27/10 Matinee    £58.00               £26.51

          Evening     £58.00               £26.51    

28/10 Evening    £58.00               £26.51   

29/10 Matinee    £69.00               £32.00    

          Evening     £69.00               £32.00     

 

i know that some theatres price seats differently depending on the day of the week and/or how deep into the run.  this would appear to be the case for the Birmingham Hippodrome too. 

i wonder if this practice is being considered at the ROH?  

 

I've responded to your duplicate post on the BRB thread.

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21 hours ago, Bluebird said:

Interestingly, the next price down is £22 and I assume this is for the better Upper Slips seats. These same Upper Slips seats are only £15 for The Magic Flute and The Barber of Seville. 

 

I'm not sure that's right.  Aren't the slips seats under "slips" rather than "amphitheatre"?  In which case, the best slips seats for Flute are £28, not £15, which is what I would expect.

 

That said, the amphi pricing for Beauty still doesn't make a lot of sense and I wouldn't be surprised to learn in due course that it's a mistake in the pricing paper.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for that, BBB.  I hadn't looked at the separate listing for Slips in the opera prices and had, wrongly, assumed that the price for opera in the Upper Slips would be in the same position in the list as the price for ballet in the Upper Slips.  Having the prices listed without reference to exact areas of the auditorium can make it difficult to interpret the information.

 

As for the pricing being incorrect, I think that's unlikely as those same front amphitheatre side seats are priced at £33 for the Diamond Celebration performances.

Edited by Bluebird
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Once or twice a year a friend and I used to treat ourselves to best seats in the Stalls, in the days when you could get a seat for my absolute limit (£100).  When the Stalls prices went up, we then treated ourselves to best seats in the Amphitheatre.  But £112 for one of the latter?  Are they having a laugh?  I know the prices have been gradually creeping up, but even so, that is ridiculous.  

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I've responded to your duplicate post on the BRB thread.

 

duplicated information yes, but because not everybody will read every thread, and my post is relevant to both discussions this is why i posted it under two threads, thanks

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Looking at those BRB prices it would be cheaper to go to Birmingham including a day return train ticket than sit towards the front of Amphi at ROH where I sit when up there. 
Of course none of us knows what’s happening with our energy bills until September. If these should treble for most people ( as Martin Lewis keeps saying) then with other increased costs etc I doubt my upper limit would be £100 more likely to be half that amount….or it means I now go three times a year once in each season lol!! 
 

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29 minutes ago, PeterS said:

 

duplicated information yes, but because not everybody will read every thread, and my post is relevant to both discussions this is why i posted it under two threads, thanks

 

Double posting is very confusing for everyone (except presumably the person who makes the double post).

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3 hours ago, PeterS said:

i don't know if this has been commented on before, but i've been looking at ticket prices for BRB Coppélia at the Birmingham Hippodrome.   There is a substantial difference in the price of the same seat depending on the date of the performance.

for example:

                           Front Stalls         Rear Circle

                           Seat L20             Seat X20

26/10 Evening    £48.00               £20.00

27/10 Matinee    £58.00               £26.51

          Evening     £58.00               £26.51    

28/10 Evening    £58.00               £26.51   

29/10 Matinee    £69.00               £32.00    

          Evening     £69.00               £32.00     

 

i know that some theatres price seats differently depending on the day of the week and/or how deep into the run.  this would appear to be the case for the Birmingham Hippodrome too. 

i wonder if this practice is being considered at the ROH?  

Now that you mention it, PeterS, ROH has actually done this before, but surprisingly,  the other way around, with Saturday being the cheaper day.

 

Back in 2001 and for several years, they actually had cheaper seats at the weekends (Fri, Sat, Sun) and slightly more expensive seats on Mon-Thu (something like 8-12% cheaper depending on the show I think?) Thinking this seemed counterintuitive when I first saw the prices (in fact, I thought it was a typo!) I asked at the box office, and they explained that they had actually noticed that sales were slower/lower for weekends as people in London used Mon-Thu for socialising or networking in London, and escaped the city on Fri-Sun. I was a bit surprised, but benefited from the “discount” anyway as I could only attend on weekends. Unfortunately the practice hasn’t continued- everything is now at the higher band!

 

Even further back....in the late 80s and early 90s, the ROH would also have different prices according to the casting, just for opera. The prices for RO would be in two bands if a very high profile opera star, eg Pavarotti, Caballe or Domingo, was sharing the role along with a less famous singer- the nights with the high profile star would be about 15-25% more expensive. It is still done in quite a few international opera houses.

 

This could be tricky if the high profile star pulls out due to illness or any reason- should they refund the difference if the less famous singer covers for the big star? That said, the high profile stars hardly ever pulled out in that era compared to nowadays. 

 

They don’t do that with the opera prices now even if the second cast is completely unknown-all the prices are in the higher band.  I have seen some very weak sales for some second casts and it’s sort of obvious why. You’re not going to pay £120 for someone unknown or whose reviews are not as impressive if you could get your fave star for the same price. That said, we just had a production (the Cavalliera Rusticana/I Pagliacci double bill) with 3 leads substituted (2 of them megastars) and audiences have remarked that the singers who substituted performed so well that the substitute cast could well have been better than the original casting. 

Edited by Emeralds
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