Monday, August 24, 2009

Cheap opera tickets, plus perks!

The Star today has a blurb about splitting up Film Fest packs/subscriptions with friends in order to see everything that you want and save money at the same time, but also mentions it as a way to do the same with opera tix. I think that this is a great idea.

You get the tickets for the COC's Dutchman without having to sit through your 30th Carmen, (or however your opera preferences lean,) while your friend gets to see one of the most accessible operas around without having to try to wrap their heads around Stravinsky.

Even better than the selection is that you all get to take advantage of the subscriber benefits, chief among them are the discounts not only on tickets but on partner arts groups, stores, and restaurants. One of the other really great benefits is the free exchange privileges that virtually every subscription comes with. So you want to see VO's Figaro but don't know when? Buy the subscription now at a discount and change the date when your cousin's birthday party gets in the way in April. I'm also a big fan of the ability to buy additional tickets at a discount. So you get the first ticket at a discount and then get to add on more tickets for friends or obnoxious acquaintances also at a discount. Or you can decide to take in that Carmen anyway but not have to pay retail.

Other benefits include the seating. Ever wonder who gets to sit in the front row of the price categories? That's subscribers, who get to pick seats first. Some companies have other perks. Manitoba Opera throws in cheap parking, and a break on service charges. Others enjoy newsletters, invites to other events, an easy lost ticket replacement. Add it all up and as long as you can part with the cash up front, it's a great time to buy.

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