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Advice wanted: How to purchase tickets on the day of the performance


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#1 Naoko S

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 12:12 PM

Hi Paris friends, your advice is desperately wanted!

Having had any luck with the POB's website to book on-line for the Bejart pro. for quite some time, I may have to go to paris without a reserved seat. I doubt it very much Bejart pro. will be a sold-out even on the first night, if so can I simply turn up at Bastille and buy a ticket on the day? I seem to recall for a sold-out performance return tickets were sold from one & half hour before the performance, some years ago. Can I presume that as long as the Box Office has something to sell they will be on offer any time of the day - or will they withheld tickets at some stage?

Would any one kindly advise how the system works right now?

#2 Estelle

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 01:14 PM

Naoko, there probably are some posters here that know better than me how it works, as it happened to me to buy tickets on the day of the performance only once or twice and so I don't remember much of the details... But yes, in general it's possible to buy some tickets on the day of the performance. I think that officially the box-office re-opens at 6:45 PM (the performances are at 7:30 PM) but I'm not sure of the hour, and in general people start queueing there earlier (how early depends also on how popular the performance is). But at least you can try going to the box-office during the day (between 11 AM and 6:30 PM),
Bastille is big and so it's likely that there would be at least a few available seats (and one advantage of Bastille over Garnier is that even from the cheapest seats one can see the stage quite well).

#3 Naoko S

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 02:39 PM

Estelle, many thanks for your very quick reply. At the moment there seems to be quite a few choices left for us (according to the website), so I may be able to get a ticket one way or the other.... It's a relief to hear that general view is better at Bastille, but with luck I'd rather stick to the front rows in Orchestra Stalls. Bastille is too huge - once I sat in the area slightly rear from centre and still felt like left behind, as if things happening on the stage too remote and irrelevant....

#4 su-lian

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 12:42 PM

Hi Naoko!
About getting tickets:
-You can try getting some at Bastille or Garnier (any of the two if you're going in advance) if you want them in advance. It starts at 11am, but try to be there before, because there will be many people. At Garnier, after the main entrance of the building, go to the right and once you're facing the shop, go to the left of it, there is another big door, and it's there. At Bastille, it's on the right side of the opera, and if you arrive before they open, you'll be queueing outside. They might tell you they don't have any tickets and it's sold out.
-If you don't get any before the performance, no panic: they WILL sell some just before the performance. They always have more tickets, the people from the opera selling the tickets told me so. You will have to go where the performance is, so in this case, Bastille, but, instead of queueind at the side, you go to the main entrance, go in, and go to the right. There are some sorts of cabins, I don't know how to call them (even in french) with shutters down. This is where the tickets are sold. There are some seats there, so if you get there early enough, you'll be able to sit. There is the same thing on the left, BUT this is for reduced price tickets for students...and the priority is to the people buying full price tickets, so my advice: even if you would be able to get reduced price tickets, don't (I myself could, but it's just not worth it, because you're not even sure to get tickets, but you still have to queue). Another thing: they say they start selling the tickets 45 minutes before the performance (18:45 pm), but, if you want the best choice, be there much before (I usually try for about 4:30 pm or 5 pm, and I'm 2nd in the queue. You might say it's crazy and boring, but since they sell all the categories of tickets, even on the day itself, you can get some of the best seats if you get there before the others;) ).
I think I've said everything now.
Good luck!

#5 Naoko S

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 12:17 PM

Hi Su-lian, thanks muchly for a very detailed tip!

>>-If you don't get any before the performance, no panic: they WILL sell some just before the performance. They always have more tickets, the people from the opera selling the tickets told me so.

Does this mean that generally more tickets are available at the last minute? If so that's all the more better for me - I wouldn't mind queuing for longer hours if I could get a better seat...

I'll print out your message and bring it with me to Paris!

#6 cygneblanc

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 01:09 PM

Well, I'm not Su-Lian, but I may be of some help:
Yes, Su-Lian is right, there always are some tickets to buy before the performance, I did an internship and a schoolwork on the POB, so I'm aware of that.
But you have to queue for a long time if you want to purchase some of them. Generaly, you can buy some very good seats. And your chances of getting a good seat are better if you want only one ticket! Good luck!

#7 su-lian

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 02:24 PM

You're welcome!
Well, yes, I would say that if you don't get seats at the very beginning of the opening date (either by internet, correspondance or telephone) and you have time to queue, then queue, because if you're there early enough, you're sure to get what you want (or very nearly sure), while if you try to get seats later after the opening, you're not sure to them. They have a system where a certain number of seats of each category is sold by first correspondance and internet, then by telephone, and the rest is sold at the counters starting from two weeks before the performance, plus other tickets (once again from each category) which they keep until the last minute (for sale for employees or associates...) and which they sell 45 minutes before the performance. There are always some of these left, so this is why you're sure to get anything you want if you go there on the day of the performance, whilst you're not if you try at that sort of intermediate period when a lot of tickets have already been sold, if you see what I mean.

#8 flygirl

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:55 AM

This topic is from so long ago that I wonder if the procedure is the same. As I read the posts above it seems that if I want to get standby tickets (Opera Garnier) I should:

1. Try lining up early morning for the 11 AM window opening
...and/or
2. Try lining up 4:30 or 5:00 for a 6:45 PM window opening
...and....
The chances are better with option #2

Is that correct?

And do they require cash?

Thanks!

#9 Estelle

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:42 PM

As far as I know, the 11 AM opening is for buying all sorts of tickets (not only tickets for the same day), while the 6:45 PM window opening is for tickets for the same day only, but I hope someone better informed than me will be able to reply (I don't live in Paris any longer and haven't bought tickets at the box office for a while...)

Anyway, as far as I know, they do accept credit cards (I bought tickets several times at the 6:45 PM opening with a credit card and there never was any problem), and probably checks too (but that might not be useful for you, if you don't have a bank account in France).

#10 flygirl

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 08:51 AM

Yipeee! My daughter and I just returned from Paris yesterday and we had good luck!
We went to line up Friday night at Opera Garnier for same day tickets (Cinderella) and ended up in the 8th row center. I went to the window at 3 pm and I asked where I should start the line for the 6:45 ticket waiting. The woman at the window had just received 2 orchestra tickets and she sold them to us right on the spot. I felt like Cinderella myself!!!! Fabulous, fabulous.
Thanks to previous responders I knew the procedure and I am sure it helped. :dunno:

#11 Helene

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 08:52 AM

Congratulations, flygirl!

(After you get some sleep, we want to hear all about Cinderella :dunno:)

#12 Estelle

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 08:56 AM

Wonderful, flygirl ! I hope that you enjoyed "Cinderella" (and more generally your stay in Paris).

#13 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 08:54 PM

I am so happy to read these posts, as I am going to be in Paris for about 10 days soon, and want very much to see Cendrillion! We may also end up getting tickets at the last minute -- a friend in Paris will try and get them for us before we get there -- but if she can't, at least I will know it may be possible to get them at the last minute.

I and our friend tried to get the tickets online, but there were no more. I also tried getting information in English, but couldn't find the site in English, as I once had. (Same for the Musee d'Orsay!)

Two questions -- waiting on line in the a.m. or later, how many tickets can one person buy? There may be 4 of us. AND -- if some in the party are seniors, do they have to be there to buy senior-discount tickets?

I hope someone has the answer!!!!

Thank you!

#14 Azulynn

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 06:49 AM

You can definitely buy 4 tickets on the day of the performance... assuming there are 4 available ! You may want to come early in the afternoon and queue for the 6:45 opening, if the box office doesn't have any tickets to sell earlier.

Senior-discount tickets are given only around 7:30 (that's the same queue as for students), and only if there are tickets left at that time. People who have a "Pass" (there's a card for seniors) are given priority. Cinderella sold out months in advance, and therefore there will probably be virtually no discount tickets available - maybe one or two, at the very last minute, and none for those who don't have the Pass. Yes, seniors have to be there to buy the tickets (it's at the last minute anyway), but that's definitely not a safe option - you might want to get 4 tickets at regular price !

#15 Treefrog

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 07:24 AM

Just want to say thanks. I will be in Paris in a few weeks, and may have a chance to see La Fille Mal Gardee. Online tickets are only offered in the top price category, and as the only performance is on our day of arrival (after an overnight flight) I don't want to risk spending lots of money and then being too sleepy to enjoy the ballet. Thanks to these tips, I know what to expect. What a great resource you all are!


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