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ABT 2007 Met Season


mussel

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Just had an e-mail from Rupert Rohan of VWL, Carlos Acosta's management, to say that "owing to other contractual commitments", Carlos will not be appearing with ABT in the 2007 season.

Feh!

Awwww......no Carlos

That's really too bad. I'm disappointed.

Maybe 2008?

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A Casting Bonus

Diana Vishneva's site agrees with all 10 dates given by ABT, and adds that she'll also appear in the opening night gala.

The Gelsey Letter

I don't recall seeing any mention of Gelsey Kirkland's mid December letter soliciting contributions for costuming Sleeping Beauty. It doesn't read at all like her, so I suppose it was house-written.

"The largest, most majestic production of The Sleeping Beauty ever." :toot: Take that, Big Leningrad Company!

One positive, however, is that the Mellon Foundation will match contributions dollar-for-dollar.

Very ominous: she signs her name as Assistant to the Choreographer. Now, 'though she is aethereal enough for this to mean Petipa, I'm sure it means McKenzie. I wonder if this implies the gift of a new, improved last Act, as in the case of his Swan Puddle. Perhaps those archaic Fish Dives can be updated to a variant of the Frog Hops that now (dis)grace the latter. Still, I have faith that her very charisma will somehow kind of protect the Belle. :)

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"The largest, most majestic production of The Sleeping Beauty ever." :toot: Take that, Big Leningrad Company!

:beg::clapping: I like it.

I think I'll skip it. Saw the BLC and the Royal last season, think I need sometime off of SB. Well at least ABT can put Swan Lake away for a couple of years when touring. They are yet again doing it in my area, last 3 years we have had a Le Corsaire sandwich on Swan Lake bread.

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What is the strategy of the ABT with their ticket sales? Do they hold back single (and multiple) purchases sales to allow the former subscribers first shot at renewal of "series" and then open them up to single (and multiple) purchases?

Are the "best" seats sold to repeat subscribers year after year?

Why can't ABT seem to set their casting at the same time as they set the program schedule?

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What is the strategy of the ABT with their ticket sales? Do they hold back single (and multiple) purchases sales to allow the former subscribers first shot at renewal of "series" and then open them up to single (and multiple) purchases?

Are the "best" seats sold to repeat subscribers year after year?

Why can't ABT seem to set their casting at the same time as they set the program schedule?

The trick is, subscribe!

Now wait a second--I'm not being facetious here.

As a subscriber, you can easily switch out dates for other performances, plus get additional seats before (i believe) they are open to the public.

This year we got a subscription and are switching out all the dates on it but 1.

Its a good tactic I think :wacko: Especially as it doesn't pin you in to specific shows, if the casting, for ex, changes.

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Do they hold back single (and multiple) purchases sales to allow the former subscribers first shot at renewal of "series" and then open them up to single (and multiple) purchases?

Are the "best" seats sold to repeat subscribers year after year?

Yes and yes, and I'm one of those. Not that my seats are the best, but well placed in the section I can afford. It does make sense to subscribe, particularly since you can exchange out of the duds in your series. However, I'm always letting mine lapse until they finally call me not wanting to lose my subscription. This is mostly because of the casting issues mentioned. The "make your own series" was a new innovation last year, and I was really pleased about it. Maybe it wasn't that popular and got dropped, because I would have expected to see it mentioned in one of several brochures I've received. If it were offered I probably would have bought my tickets already, instead of agonizing over which series I should pick in order to have the least hassle with exchanges.

Like so many people now, I like buying my tickets at the last minute and I don't necessarily want to set aside a certain day of the week for a subscription. I know this is also a problem in the classical music world. They can rest a lot easier with a certain number of birds in hand, rather than having them all in the bush until half an hour before the performance. In terms of creative subscriptions, I wouldn't mind a buy X, get one free card like you get at sandwich shops, bakeries or coffee places. But that doesn't seem too realistic, and I don't mean to demean a ballet performance to the level of a bagel.

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If subscribers have unlimited exchange privileges, is there really any point in a "Make Your Own" series?

One of the Tuesday subs has Vishneva on 3 of the 4 dates. Not too hard for me to select this one. Also, subscribers get to exchange one week before civilians can buy individual performances. Not hard to guess that the non-Vishneva will become a Nina or a Part...

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If subscribers have unlimited exchange privileges, is there really any point in a "Make Your Own" series?

Basically, the returning subscribers get first dibbs on their old seats and the first opportunity to improve their seating. Then new regular subscribers are seated. The make-your-own (Pick 3-4) series usually becomes available late February, and they are third on the food chain as far as seating goes. Make-your-owns get full exchange privileges, but they won’t necessarily get the same seat location for all performances. Then in April, the single ticket free-for-all starts. A week before single tickets go on sale, all subscribers (regular and make-your-own) can go to the Met box office and exchange tickets. Oh by the way - ABT does not do the subscriber seating; the Met Opera's seating czarina does.

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I found the ABT ticketing frustrating when I wanted to purchase early to get a series of ballets with the dancers I wanted to see. No way jose... So I waited and finally purchased the ballets and then they changed the casts! Bummer.

I come from out of town so last minute is not possible... even Met Opera rush means I have to give up almost an entire day!.

I purchased both Tuesday series and a single thursday to see Ferri in Mannon... My luck she will not dance that day!... But if she does I get to see two Mannons in the same week and that will be a dream.

With cost being no consideration... what would be the optimal seats for ballet at the Met... and the second choice?

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"Optimal" seats can be very subjective. There are people who won't sit anywhere except the first row of the Orchestra. I guess they watch faces as they cannot see feet from the ankle down.

Most people who can afford it prefer as close to center Orchestra as is available. Second choice would probably be Grand Tier, especially for the big productions.

Seats very much to the side in Orchestra can be wonderful & there is usually no problem with heads in front of one as long as one sits past about row Q.

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Yes, for the Side Seats, you should definitely be in the second half of the alphabet. But for center seats, I also don't like being closer than about Row J. You lose some of the feet because of a dip in the floor. However, people tell me that Row AX, which does not exist when the Opera uses its larger orchestra, is a bit elevated, and you can see feet.

I always like to be elevated. IF MONEY IS NO OBJECT, and in the unlikely event that they're available, try to get Center Parterre seats. They're pretty close to the stage, just high enough to give an overview of the whole tableau. I got to see the closing ballet one night when a friend who had a subscription got the stub from his departing box mate. IMO, you can't get better than that!

If you like to be above the stage and you can't get into the Parterre, the Grand Tier would be the next choice. Also very good.

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Row O center (3 digits) are the best in the Orchestra, b/c they are a bit more raised above the row in front than are seats in any other row.

As for center Parterre, you'd want to sit in the front seats of the individual box if you don't like craning. Sat there once in my life, the Makarova/Baryshnikov Giselle that was telecast. Unfortunately, his worst ever during the Makarova, Kirkland years. Overdanced "because the tv screen is small."

Grand Tier 3-digit A or C (beware of Row A leaners if you are in B).

But these are all pretty impossible to get. The "secret" is Row A Dress Circle, one up from Grand Tier, beautiful angle. And if you go to the box office when tickets go on sale, more often than not still some available. And for a lot less $.

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How do you get row A in the Dress Circle?... I've only gotten row B once or twice and it was way to the side... I am lucky to get C or D...

I find that the sound in the Met varies a lot depending on where you sit... or maybe I am getting deaf faster than I thought. A lot of the music doesn't have enough "punch" for my taste... especially when you are under an overhanging balcony. Mid orchestra seems to be good for seeing "acting" and without having to use binocs.

I find that I MUST use binocs up there... but the overview is wonderful.

Do you use binocs?

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How do you get row A in the Dress Circle?... I find that I MUST use binocs up there... but the overview is wonderful.

...Do you use binocs?

Even if I were in Orch Row A, I'd probably bring binocs! I generally know the exchanges from subscriptions that I want, so go as soon as allowed (well, give a day or two to let others trade in what I wish to exchange for) and in most cases get DC A if requested (don't mind off center, as the unobstructed view is the big deal for me).

For those who are out of the city, here's something I should probably keep secret for myself, especially useful if you are not exchanging and have to therefore wait an extra week. The Met's ticket site is a disaster for buying top price orchestra: they think you want to be really close, below pointe level. But when you check the second price level you will likely find they offer row Z or AA dead center. You get a much better view at the price of slightly attenuated sound, a few rows are still farther back. A luxury, but worth it for a really special program (for ABT, read "cast").

For sound, Balcony is really good.

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Responding to the comments started on another thread going off topic re youthful Juliets and Sleeping Beauties....

I appreciate great dancing/acting at any age.... but I'd prefer seeing a more naturally youthful looking Juliet and Sleeping Beauty. It's not about wrinkles on the face.... It's about an overall physicality that I prefer in certain roles. And I love older, more womanly dancers too in roles such as Emeralds... to name just one. I wish Ferri, Nina A. and Part could be dancing in Mr. B's Jewels this upcoming season at ABT....

And not all younger dancers lack emotional / dramatic depth!! I'm certainly not suggesting ABT throw on any 18-25 year old to a Sleeping Beauty or Juliet role. But there are some younger dancers at ABT that would be wonderful, quite perfect... in both roles.... and definitely could dance/act them very well. I've seen gigs.... I've seen dancers who leave major companies for those kinds of opportunities elsewhere....

I was adding to someone else's point that there should be more opportunities for ABT's younger talents....

Btw, I enjoyed Markarova and Fonteyn in their older years... but I confess I wanted to see Nureyev far more eagerly as Romeo than Fonteyn as Juliet!

Ok, before you all start throwing daggers my way....

I think Ferri's Juliet is still the best one at ABT no matter what her age is....

p.s. As for best seats at the Met.... I too prefer row P or O in center orchestra.

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sz,

Did you see Paloma Herrera when she first appeared in Romeo and Juliet.. I think she was like 18 at the time??? Apparently she made quite the impression with her first time on the met stage as a principal. Have you seen her do the role recently? I believe we saw her do it last season and I thought she played (acted/danced) the young Juliet in the first act very compellingly for someone is probably 2x the age of what that character is supposed to be.

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I rarely sit in orchestra, because I usually end up behind someone with big hair or a tall man. The NY Times critics sit house left in L1 & L3; Mr. Barnes sits in J1; and another critic, whose name I can't recall, sits in K1. Those are exceptional views. I'm usually on their par but straight up in the Dress Circle Boxes, which I've come to love. The music is enormous, and while you miss some of the corner action, what you do see is incredible. I see the same people up there all the time - probably some of them are BTers.

With regard to the younger dancers not getting opportunities -- it may bother us more than it bothers them. If the spotlight meant so much to them, they would leave to go get it. I don't care for the idea of intentionally denying a seasoned dancer performing opportunities in favor of a young techno wiz who needs opportunities to develop artistically. I know it happens, but it's a quick way to kill morality in any kind of company. If the seasoned dancer isn't cutting it, that's another matter. But to shove someone aside in favor of a younger dancer who intrigues us, because she's a fresh talent and seen infrequently, is wrong.

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...

Did you see Paloma Herrera when she first appeared in Romeo and Juliet.. I think she was like 18 at the time??? Apparently she made quite the impression with her first time on the met stage as a principal. Have you seen her do the role recently? I believe we saw her do it last season and I thought she played (acted/danced) the young Juliet in the first act very compellingly for someone is probably 2x the age of what that character is supposed to be.

Paloma has been part of a noble tradition in which a mature master of a principal role carries thru a young rookie in her/his debut. ABT ended one season with a Don Q in which Julio Bocca initiated the Kitri of Herrera. From the same city as she, he was very playful, challenging and urging her on and of course inspiring daring and confidence as only he could. They were playing. She was fabulous. It was a romp as art, a truly great performance of the ballet. The rookie went right to the top. Considered so remarkable, that performance was used by the Times as the following season's prewrite in the Sunday Times. The very next season Paloma initiated the youngster Angel Corella to DQ. Later, Paloma also was a young Juliet but not quite given the best of preparation, at least by the costume department. Even so she was winning, and in later life we have found her doing a fine job introducing new Romeos. Corresponding development by master of beginner is virtually gone now. I like your math model: one is of age x, the other is of age 2x. which sex is which doesn't matter: 2x makes x calm, has an ease in making artistic decisions along the way that can be trusted by x. Herrera with Hallberg. Now it could be Carreno with Fang, Cornejo with Lane. A company would grow that way, and have a real identity.

Instead, both leads now are always principals (you might say Part is the exception, but art-wise she really is a principal too). Nobody is building the future. Lots of beauty to see. The same beauty. But beauty is a living thing and same dies.

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