Sunday, June 26, 2005

Economics (and Literacy) and the Arts

Extra! Extra! The Washington NATIONAL Opera
has apparently doubled the number of $45 tickets
it is offering for next year's 50th Anniversary
Season! (The company also trumpets lower box
and orchestra seat prices, with the prices for those
seats now ranging from $98 to $290. The company is
apparently learning that many available prices are
necessary, if performing arts organizations
are going to begin to fill their inventories of unfilled,
unwanted seats.)

The drawback concerning the new $45 tickets
is that they are Rear Orchestra seats where English
supertitles are not, usually, visible. This will be a
problem for those new to opera, who should probably
spring for the $68 Second Tier Prime seats, if they
want to read the supertitles. (The $45 Second Tier
Non-Prime seats are sold out in advance, though
returns are possible.) Or art lovers new to opera
can do what opera lovers did for 380 years;
that is, obtain and read a libretto beforehand.

However, given that both my spouse and I are
opera- and libretto- savvy art lovers, I think you'll
start finding us in the rear corners of the orchestra
level. And I expect those rear corners of the house
will begin to be happening cultural places -- rather
than empty lots abandonned by out of touch

Sign us up for Verdi's I Vespri siciliani (that's the one
about stylish motorscooters?), Wagner's Das Rheingold
(that's the Marxist one about German beer with little
flecks in it?), and Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito (that's
the one about war crimes, and military tribunals, in
Serbia and Montenegro?).


Image of Kyiv, Ukraine Monument to the Motherland
(World War II memorial complex) :


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