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Colorado Ballet Discounts Sleeping Beauty Tickets


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#1 YouOverThere

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:31 AM

The Colorado Ballet has instituted a large ticket discount program for the remaining 9 performances of The Sleeping Beauty. People buying tickets online will be able to pay the next lower price for their tickets, e.g., they can buy a ticket in the $77 section for $50.

One can't help but wonder if the motivation for this was slow sales.

#2 California

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

The Colorado Ballet has been aggressively discounting for a long time. For the 2011-12 season, subscribers paid 40% under face value of the subscription tickets and could buy an unlimited number of additional tickets at 40% off. The subscription consisted of four programs, including their Nutcracker. That was a big cut from the previous year's 25% discount, and I assumed they were trying to build up their subscriber base.

For 2012-13, subscribers paid 25% less and again could buy an unlimited number of additional tickets at 25% off. Subscribers got that rate for buying just three of the four programs for the season. I assumed that was because the fourth program at University of Denver is Light/the Holocaust and Humanity Project, which is pretty heavy-duty for young children and also will be presented only over Easter weekend:
http://www.coloradob...asonproductions
I've been seeing promotions for the last month for 20-25% off single tickets for Sleeping Beauty and another for the first week of the Nutcracker. Those were pretty common last season, too. And they have long promoted various discounts through local social media.

I was at all three performances last weekend, the opening of their Sleeping Beauty (which continues through October 21). All three Auroras were excellent, although Maria Mosina (the Russian-born, Bolshoi-trained veteran) remains my favorite. The orchestra and parterre were at least 75% full. The three upper tiers were more like 25% full. That includes a lot of discounted tickets, of course. The Ellie Caulkins Opera House seats 2100, so it's a heavy lift. I did notice that the Saturday matinee on the opening weekend for Beauty, as well as the February-March mixed bill has been omitted this year. They typically only do programs on the weekends (Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday matinee), with the lone exception of one Wednesday program at 6:30 p.m.

The season in fall 2011 opened with Swan Lake and benefitted from the coattails of Natalie Portman's movie. I think Beauty was a good choice for the opening this year, but nothing will draw quite the way Swan Lake does. I'm a little nervous about the February mixed bill. Sacre (Tetley's version) will draw a little because of the 100-year anniversary of the music. The new piece by Val Caniparoli will draw afficionados. Theme and Variations (being set next month by Judith Fugate) is glorious, but probably not a big draw for novices. They are only doing seven performances over two weekends, though, so the ticket sales might be okay. They do use a live orchestra for all the Opera House performances, which is very important.

I am reminded that NYCB performs in a 2544 seat theater and has found it necessary to close off the top two tiers for many (most?) performances -- in a city filled with ballet lovers and tourists and a long tradition of world-class art. It's a much steeper climb in a city like Denver, a metropolitan area of only 3 million. I just got tickets for the Don Giovanni by Opera Colorado next spring and was surprised that excellent seats throughout the house were available on the first day of single sales. The touring company of Book of Mormon sold out two weeks at the Opera house in five hours! West Side Story and Lion King sold out or close to it when they were here last year.

As for the production, they are using sets and costumes rented from Ballet West which were fine. The orchestra was excellent. The choreography is drawn mainly from the Royal's and ABT's, by Gil Boggs and Sandra Brown, formerly with ABT. The company has 30 dancers on contract and fleshes out the roles with apprentices, students from their Academy, and retired dancers. I suppose it's no surprise that they have a deep bench on the female side, and are somewhat weaker among the males, although there are good performances all around.

Let me pass along one anecdote that perhaps exemplifies the environment companies like Colorado Ballet work in. Last Friday morning, the day of the opening, Boggs and a couple of the dancers were on a local news show for interviews to promote the ballet. The young interviewer from the station started by saying that this wonderful ballet "traces all the way back to 1959 and Walt Disney's wonderful movie!" You could see Boggs smile and later diplomatically educated her to the fact that the ballet actually traces back to the nineteenth century. That's what we're dealing with in today's 20-somethings...

#3 California

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:30 PM

Let me add that they have 2-for-1 tickets now on-line:
http://www.denver.or...-offer?evid=726

Denver does not have a 1/2 price ticket booth like New York or other bigger cities, so this site is the main way to get bargain tickets and a lot of cultural activities show up here. (And I do remember seeing NYCB and NY Philharmonic tickets on the TDF site in the last year, so it happens.)

#4 YouOverThere

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:11 PM

Let me add that they have 2-for-1 tickets now on-line: http://www.denver.or...-offer?evid=726 Denver does not have a 1/2 price ticket booth like New York or other bigger cities, so this site is the main way to get bargain tickets and a lot of cultural activities show up here. (And I do remember seeing NYCB and NY Philharmonic tickets on the TDF site in the last year, so it happens.)


However, the CB often sells "rush" tickets at half price.

#5 YouOverThere

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

I was at all three performances last weekend, the opening of their Sleeping Beauty (which continues through October 21). All three Auroras were excellent, although Maria Mosina (the Russian-born, Bolshoi-trained veteran) remains my favorite. The orchestra and parterre were at least 75% full. The three upper tiers were more like 25% full. That includes a lot of discounted tickets, of course. The Ellie Caulkins Opera House seats 2100, so it's a heavy lift. I did notice that the Saturday matinee on the opening weekend for Beauty, as well as the February-March mixed bill has been omitted this year. They typically only do programs on the weekends (Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday matinee), with the lone exception of one Wednesday program at 6:30 p.m.


The shows on the other 2 weekends have sold much better, with the orchestra/parterre nearly full (except in the mega-bucks section) and the mezzanine more than half full. I barely managed to squeeze a couple of seats from the back row of the parterre for the last performance (no, I'm not that fat. I actually have a date).

Audience etiquette hit a new low in the final Saturday matinee performance, at least in the mezzanine. During the whole hour that the Prologue and First Act take, there wasn't a single 60-second period in which I didn't hear someone talking. There was some kid crumpling up papers for the first 15 minutes and there was a kid (maybe the same one) apparently playing with beads on a necklace (or something - that's the only explanation that I could come up with). This surprised, because up until then I was thinking that it was amazing how well the small children were behaving. It ended up with the ushers letting me sit in an empty seat in the orchestra (interesting perspective, but too far forward for my taste).

As for the production, they are using sets and costumes rented from Ballet West which were fine.


I wonder how much those costumes cost!

The choreography is drawn mainly from the Royal's and ABT's, by Gil Boggs and Sandra Brown, formerly with ABT.


I was thinking that it differed from last time. I thought that this choreography is a little less dramatic, maybe more of a children's story.

The company has 30 dancers on contract and fleshes out the roles with apprentices, students from their Academy, and retired dancers. I suppose it's no surprise that they have a deep bench on the female side, and are somewhat weaker among the males, although there are good performances all around.


And not helped by a couple of absences on the male side. There is one male principal who not only isn't in this production but wasn't in the season-ending production last spring. I don't know what the story is. One of the better men in the corps suffered a severely sprained knee in August and wasn't able to get it healed and rehabbed in time to dance in this production.

It's taken me a while to really get into the production. I guess with the limited story and dramatic content, it's really a dancer's production, so dance illiterates like me have to watch it several times to learn enough to really enjoy it.

#6 YouOverThere

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

And not helped by a couple of absences on the male side. There is one male principal who not only isn't in this production but wasn't in the season-ending production last spring. I don't know what the story is.


The missing principal dancer suffered some sort of significant injury and reportedly was just barely able to rehab in time for The Nutcracker.


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