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Operatic Superinflation

February 5, 2013

It's certain that there will be "how come you didn't know that?!" and "that's nothing compared to X or Y" mail deluge, but it's yet another of many well-known (to others) facts that strikes me as a matter of interest, news even.

The mighty Metropolitan Opera seems hellbent on pricing itself out of business. Locally, David Gockley has tried hard to keep San Francisco Opera prices "reasonable," and the company still provides $10 standing room tickets (unchanged in many years) and a decent selection of under-$100 seats.

Against unlimited, good-for-every performance discount programs in the War Memorial, the Met offers a weekdays-only rush program of 200 seats for $20, including 50 seats reserved for seniors.

Checking the Met website for routine revivals, shows Family Circle ($30-$50) and Balcony ($47-$130) sold out well in advance; some $210 tickets available in Dress Circle, $360 tickets in Grand Tier, a few $460 seats in Parterre, very few Orchestra seats, ranging from $185 to $360.

For a premiere, the range of what is not "pre-sold" is $151 to $400, and I don't know what restrictions there may be on purchases.

All in all, a daunting situation.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].