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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.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

For Opera Goers, the Lottery is Over

Met Opera (quietly) alters rush ticket policy (again.)
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Much to this guy's relief, the Met is getting out of the lottery business.
New York Lottery image © New York State Lottery. Photo alteration by the author.
Earlier this year, Superconductor published a column regarding the Metropolitan Opera's implementation of a new rush ticket policy for the 2014-15 season which forced would-be opera goers to enter a daily lottery on the Met website. Last night, this blog discovered that as of Nov. 20, 2015, this lottery has been discontinued in favor of an online-only, first-come, first-serve policy.

That discovery came yesterday afternoon, when I stopped by the box office to buy a ticket for the company's revival of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. With one box office window open, a helpful clerk gave me a single-sheet document, outlining the company's altered policy. There was no press release e-mailed to Superconductor and no announcement on the Met website. (Update: the Met had posted the revised lottery rules on Nov. 20 but I still received no announcement that the change had been made. Thanks to Slipped Disc reader Margaret Landi for the updated information.)

Rush tickets are now available day-of-show, on the Metropolitan Opera website starting at 12pm Monday through Friday. The tickets are available only through the website, and must be purchased online, picked up at the box office or simply printed out and brought to the theater. On Saturday, tickets are available two hours before curtain-up for matinee and evening performances. For a complete set of current rush ticket rules, please follow this link.

The new policy continues to put a cap on how often you can "rush" the Met, with opera-goers having to wait a full seven days until they are allowed (by the Met computers) to purchase tickets for their next performance. There is a maximum of two tickets per purchaser. Unfortunately, the new policy shuts out less tech-savvy opera-goers and tourists who might want to go to the Met but may not have access to a computer.

The death of the Met's longstanding rush line, a daily gathering of opera lovers in the concourse of Lincoln Center was one of the lowlights of this season, especially as the old policy allowed this blog to cover performances on a regular basis at a company whose press policy currently does not grant ticket rights to opera blogs. However, until that policy is changed, this new online system gives Superconductor a better chance of extending review coverage to future Metropolitan Opera performances.

Judging from the rows of empty seats at last night's Meistersinger, New York City's largest opera company may need all the help it can get.

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