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An idea for audience etiquette


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Here in Amsterdam people are usually quiet and appreciative, no "waahooo's!" whatsoever, and I love shows with children in the audience.

I agree, assuming well-behaved children (of course including mine :blink: since they are removed if they act up). I have had one child not only kick my seat but repeatedly push my coat over my head, then try to leave by crawling down the aisle -- and when his parents were asked to remove him, they did audibly complain that it was too much to pay for a babysitter on top of the tickets. On the other hand, I've yet to see a child take a phone call during a performance.

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For those of you who attended last Saturday's matinee and had to contend with the crying babies and children, you may be interested to know that I called the Metropolitan Opera house, spoke to someone in customer service who was very sympathetic to my complaints and urged anyone concerned to send in a letter, that this will be taken seriously by management. Letters should go to:

Issue Management Department

The Metropolitan Opera

Lincoln Center

New York, NY 10023

Also, there are supposed to be ushers in the house during the performance who should be helping to maintain quiet and order (you shouldn't have to police the place yourself). If they're not there, or not doing their job, you should tell the house manager during intermission. From time to time I've had to do this, and it has almost always brought a helpful result.

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While on the BalletMet website, I found this:

(From the Home Page, click "Performances" from the upper right menu, then select "Frequently Asked Questions from the left menu.)

Can I bring my children?

    Children are always welcome at BalletMet, however, not all ballets are suitable for children of all ages. Please carefully consider the performance and the maturity of your child when making the final decision on this matter. Please note that every one must have a purchased seat, no lap sitting is allowed. An usher will ask any patron who is crying or disruptive to exit the theatre.

That last sentence made me want to weep.

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It just saddens me when Anthony NYC puts the blame all on the ushers, when many times things are happening, which should NEVER happen. Like cellphones going off in the theater. People taking pictures

during the performance. Noisy unwrapping of candy or whatever. Talking throughout a performance. And these are things ADULTS ARE DOING!!!!!!!!! Yes, ushers should try to enforce the rules, and be on post to do just that. But if you think that enforcement is the ultimate solution, I just don't agree. People should come into any ballet, opera or show, and EXPECT THEIR FELLOW AUDIENCE MEMBERS TO BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS, at the very least!!!!!!!!

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At a recent ABT matinee, an usher (one I didn't recognize from before) was particularly aggressive -- I mean, effective -- in silencing a compulsive candy-unwrapping patron. Good job, new usher! :blink:

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