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Nina Ananiashvili's final performance with ABT on June 27

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I have booked two tickets for Nina Ananiashvili's final performance in Swan Lake on June 27, 2009. Neither of us has ever been to the Metropolitan Opera before and I was wondering if anybody could advise us if opera glasses would do for these two seats: G11 (Balcony) and A5 (Family Circle) or whether a compact binocular would be better - I have heard that the MetOpera House is huge. Also, could anyone advise if the Balcony seat is actually any better than the Family Circle one as it might be that only one of us will be coming, after all (we live in Europe). We only have tickets for the performance itself, not for the gala - is it generally worthwhile with these two seats - how much of Nina, if any, could we expect to see after the performance? Will performance-only ticket holders be expected to leave the premises soon after the ballet is over or is there a good chance we might see Nina from a little bit closer after the show? (Neither of us has attended a farewell performance before)

Does anyone know whether Nina will still carry on performing (and hopefully touring) with the State Ballet of Georgia or whether this will be her very last performance at the same time?

Thank you very much for any possible advice - we had planned to get tickets for either the Dress Circle or the Grand Tier and were in readiness the minute the online booking opened, but to our disbelief those seats were all gone - in panic I then booked these two.

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I would urge -- not recommend, but urge -- that you bring (or rent) binocs for Family Circle Viewing.

The Met rents binoculars, but I don't know how powerfully they magnify or how adjustable they are. Perhaps one or more of our members has experience with the Met's wares.

My own glasses magnify 8X, which for me is fine. I've used that magnification in every section from Grand Tier to Family Circle. I wouldn't go to much stronger. Friends of mine are happy with 7x. Something in that range should work for Balcony and Family Circle.

Welcome to BalletTalk, tuokkan!

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I used to rent the Met binoculars. My recollection is that they are not very powerful, so using them in the Family Circle might not provide enough magnification. My husband purchased good binoculars for me a few years ago as a gift. (I forget whether they are 7x or 8x). Since we regularly go to the opera house and other venues, it has literally been the gift that keeps on giving. Enjoy Nina's farewell. It promises to be quite an event. I'll be there in the balcony, binoculars in hand.

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As Nina's final performance is sure to be packed, if you need to rent the Met's binoculars, I would recommend that you go early. The last time I tried to rent from the Met, they were sold out. (The gentleman staffing the booth that night was kind enough to lend me his own pair, but I wouldn't count on the kindness of strangers.)

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