Just took two of the teens to see Il Trovatore at the ROH under the schools programme, which we're most grateful for, as it means watching world-class opera at a cost similar to a cinema seat.
I thoroughly enjoyed the staging of this opera: a big imagination is at work here to not only create a huge twisted heart at the finale, but then to set it on fire. Brilliant. I particularly loved both the physical expression and the voice of Azucena. The scene where she recounts the terrible mistake of throwing her own child on the fire is spine-tingling.
I'd definitely recommend it - I wish the normal seats weren't so blisteringly pricey - but it comes around in January on the cinema screen, so I might creep off for a second viewing. Recommended if you like your passion passionate.
Very tempted by the cinema screening for this, as part of my ongoing "education in opera"; music sounded very rousing in a trailer I saw. (Thinking about taking out ROH membership next year, hopefully get a chance of nabbing decent affordable seats for more productions in Covent Garden itself. As it is, I usually end up shelling out more than I should to see the singers I like, and then having to ignore the other productions!)
Thinking about taking out ROH membership next year, hopefully get a chance of nabbing decent affordable seats for more productions
Hi Jean, what's your opinion on the ROH membership - is it a good deal? We've been a few times with the kids over the years under the educational scheme, which has meant discounted tickets; the teens are coming to the end of eligibility for that. Unfortunately, they've got me into the habit of going! Now I'll feel life is incomplete unless I can schedule in a visit or two to the ROH. We have been wondering what to do about it: atm when I check out the tickets, I only ever seem to find those seats either costing hundreds, or the ones with no view. I'm guessing the 'affordable' ones are going straight out to friends and members. Um..I guess I'm looking for good opinions on the membership scheme...!
I've never had membership, and never had a problem getting decent affordable seats in the Amphitheatre when booking opens. Good sightlines although distant!
I think main cost advantage of membership is access to dress rehearsals but not sure how easy it is to get these
A top tip is to look at the package booking if you are seeing more than one thing in a booking period. Booking for this opens earlier than normal public booking, you can book a "flexible package" which gives you a 5% discount, plus for each package one free programme and one free champagne or soft drink voucher. So that's about another £18 per package you are saving. Their set packages work the same way and have a bigger discount.
Hi grit, I've actually never had a membership with ROH before. Price has always put me off in the past (£96) but I'm tempted this year because I want to get tickets to Jonas Kaufmann in Otello for my mum's 'big birthday' gift; there's only one day we can go; and I imagine that 1) it will sell out relatively quickly and 2) certainly the more affordable seats will go very quickly.
So the £96, while steep, should pay off this year and I'd also like to build my opera knowledge by snaffling some regular £30-50 seats, rather than the £80 I occasionally end up paying by the time I remember booking has opened, by which time a lot of cheap seats have gone!
xanderl - you're right of course, amphitheatre seats are usually plentiful but I sat up there once (ticket prices for Tosca were huge as there were about 4 big names in the cast) and never again, it's incredibly steep and not for those with vertigo/dizziness (though as you say, views - from the front anyway - are decent if distant). My mum couldn't sit there unfortunately as she has a disability.
I do usually go for less popular shows, in which case I sit in the stalls (or once I was in the side stalls, whatever they call them, which also give decent views and are relatively cheap, but which do also get snapped up pronto when booking opens).
I would LOVE to attend dress rehearsals as I'm just fascinated on a basic level with the whole performance/organisational 'process', but I'm not sure if you get those invitations on the £96 membership? So like you, grit, I would also welcome any opinions on the membership! I'll have a look and see if there is a thread on it already, to revive...
A couple of comments. I have been told and my own experience backs up, that the sound at the front of the Amphitheatre is excellent and less so the further up you go. If possible stick to the first 5 rows. Higher up I've not enjoyed productions much at all and will avoid those tickets in future.
But I love the whole Slips trip and find the sound good and value unsurpassed. It really does feel like "Les enfants du paradis."
Il Trovatore. Now I really do love Verdi but I have couple of blindspots. Macbeth and this. It's brilliant on CD- start with Karajan/Callas -but in the Theatre it’s just too nuts! I enjoyed it more before surtitles arrived. Saw this production in the summer run and it looks great, but IMO it couldn’t overcome the plot. I've seen a new production every one of the last 4 decades and I think I'm done with this Opera. Its popularity suggests I'm very much in a minority here.
I directed Trovatore elsewhere, this time last year, and sort of got to make it work, but heck it is hard work. So much happens off stage or before the opera starts, but it is suitably twisted and dark, and full of magnificent music. For me making the character of Ferrando more significant and more active in the storytelling helped. It is a piece about memories and storytelling, and that let me find a way in.