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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Metropolitan Opera Alters Rush Ticket Policy

Or...why Superconductor will probably not be covering the Met anymore.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
New changes in the Metropolitan Opera 2014-15 Rush Ticket Policy make reviewing
performances in the coming season all but impossible.
The Metropolitan Opera announced today that its Rush Tickets program is being drastically altered for the 2014-15 season. The revised ticket program designed (according to the press release) to allow "expanded, more democratic access to Met tickets for $25" means that Superconductor will most likely not
be covering or reviewing most Metropolitan Opera performances in the 2014-15 season.

As of this writing, Superconductor and other self-supporting, independent classical music blogs do not receive the privilege of press tickets from the Metropolitan Opera press office.. Despite repeated requests for accredition, the company has refused to extend its press tickets to "bloggers,"  much as it refused to offer tickets to "online publications" in the 1990s.

 For the last three years, almost all Met performances written about on Superconductor have been covered by standing on the weekday "rush" line and getting tickets for the opera that same evening. Before that, I owned two subscriptions on Monday nights in the Family Circle--subscriptions that were dropped when those excellent seats rose in price as something called "Family Circle Premium."

This practice is in remarkable contrast to the ticketing privileges provided to this blog by more generous organizations: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the 92nd St. Y, the Kennedy Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra,  the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Philadelphia Orchestra, to name but a few.

In recent years, many man-hours have been spent standing or sitting in that corridor on the Concourse Level of Lincoln Center in order to get tickets for weekday performances. This practice, while exhausting has made writing about this particular opera house a manageable annual expense. The low rush ticket prices made it possible to cover the Met from seats similar to (and sometimes next to) those enjoyed by press and organizations that the Met press office deems worthy of providing with tickets.

However, the new system applies the "lottery" system (previously used only for Friday and Saturday performances) to all shows put on at the Metropolitan Opera. Tickets are now only available if one logs onto the Met website the night before the performance one wishes to see. Since evening hours at Superconductor are not spent in the comfort of home but in the concert hall, this makes regular coverage of the Met all but impossible.

Additionally with the chance of  ticket acquisition now reduced to the mercy of the opera house's ticketing computer system (not to mention that you can only "win" the right to buy tickets once per week) it will, at this time, be much more difficult (if not impossible) to cover Met performances in the manner that Superconductor readers have become accustomed to.  We will continue to publish the opera preview for this season and it will appear throughout the season, but reviews are less likely.

We regret the inconvenience.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats