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The thread on "cheap seats" for the NYCB reminded me of a somewhat similar program recently instituted by the Met Opera.

This program is also funded by a donor but is more limited and more complicated than the relatively straightforward NYCB one.

The Met is looking to fill seats on weekend evenings which have evidently have not always been moving too well this season.

SO....they have instituted a weekly drawing. In a nutshell, here's how it works:

On Monday between 10:00AM-11:59 PM, go to the Met site:


You may enter your name in the drawing for Friday and/or Saturday evening, depending on availability. Tickets are $25 each but it is important to understand you are not making a committment to purchase ahead of time. You only make the decision to actually make a purchase if and when your name is selected.

Tuesday the drawing is held and the winners names are posted on the website.

Winners need to buy their tickets by 5 PM Wednesday.

Full details on the program are spelled out at the website.

A couple of things: the amount of tickets available is variable, unlike the fixed number in the NYCB program. But for one drawing a few weeks ago the list of "winners" went to FIVE single spaced pages for a Friday evening Tristan und Isolde.

There are NO additional fees. No ticket handling charges or "theater management surcharges" or anything. You pay $25, period even if you buy the tickets over the phone.

I was lucky in last week's raffle. I put in for tickets to the new production of La Rondine with Gheorghiu and Alagna and my name was picked (Along with three

pages of other names). I paid $50 for a pair of orchestra seats that regularly go for $210 each. I went to the performance Saturday night, which was fine

and all in all was way more than satisfied.

As I said, this is more complicated than the more straigtforward allocation of tickets at NYCB but it gets around the problem of getting on line on Monday at 10AM. It's pretty easy for people to drop in on a website for a minute or two during a 14 hour window.

More bargains are always welcome!

edited to correct the time window on Mondays to enter the drawings. The window is NOT two hours as I originally wrote but rather 14 instead - basically all day Monday from mid morning up to midnight. I remain a careless reader!

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