In which the nice people at the Los Angeles Philharmonic realize that they are staging an opera

I have lost a teensy bit of confidence in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. They (not the LA Opera) are doing a staged performance of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in May. Since I was going to be racketing around the west coast anyway around that time, I figured I’d go. I still intend to go. But last week the LA Phil sent me an email, explaining that one of two tickets that I had bought had a partially occluded view in Act III. (Which does make one wonder what is going on during Act III and not during Acts I, II and IV?) So they said, mail in the ticket, we’ll exchange it for a better one, no problem. So I called them up to ask about this strange email, and once I had been given the explanation, I sent the ticket back. With luck, that will work out.

Then, the same day that I mailed off ticket #1, I got an envelope in the mail from them. My first thought was “Fuck me, but that was fast,” and my second thought was, “no way; this is about something else.”

Turns out that they sent me a replacement for my other ticket, which was in a spot where they discovered that they would have to put a thing. So, I still basically have two tickets, in roughly the same places in the concert hall – but I think that whoever decided to do a staged production of an opera in a concert hall rather than a theater is probably pulling his or her hair out in clumps right now. Or so I like to imagine. (I mean, not that I’m complaining or anything. But it seems like they’re still kind of working out the kinks, operationally.)

6 thoughts on “In which the nice people at the Los Angeles Philharmonic realize that they are staging an opera

  1. I did a bit of a WTF? when I first saw that it was the Phil not the Opera. I’ve seen a few operas at Koerner Hall, which isn’t a theatre, and it definitely poses challenges. The Glenn Gould School did a very good job with their recent Don Giovanni though.

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    1. I thought it was a bit weird too – there must have been some reason though. The business with the tickets has made me even more curious as to how they’re setting it up; it seems to be fairly complicated.

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  2. This also has me thinking of the recent COC Tristan und Isolde. There were a lot of concerns about sightlines, especially in the wings of the Rings because the surtitles had to be placed above Bill Viola’s videos. They solved that with repeater screens which freed up quite a lot of extra tickets at the last minute. There were still issues though. The performance was different depending on where one was sitting. There was some business with Marke and Kurwenal that took place in the centre orchestra aisle that I completely missed watching from Ring 3 on opening night. On the other hand, from the Orchestra Ring I couldn’t see Robert Gleadow’s shepherd whereas in the stehplatz at the back of Ring 3 I could smell him! (He was wearing a rather rank sheepskin). There were other bits of singing and playing from high in the Rings that came across quite differently in the two locations.

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    1. This makes me glad my two tickets are in quite different places! I like the idea in theory of performances being slightly different depending on where one is in the hall – on the other hand, I’d hate to miss something cool because of where I was sitting.

      (Also, I really hope that the LaPhil’s figaro does not contain anyone wearing a rank sheepskin. Ew.)

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  3. this is at disney hall? if so, i can’t imagine where you would get views blocked unless you bought tix behind the stage. but then since it’s at a concert hall, you have to worry why they put so much effort in constructing things.. all that money could go into paying musicians and more rehearsals, i heard they’re always cutting short on rehearsals

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    1. It’s at Disney hall. The ticket they said was partially blocked was on the terrace level, off towards one side – I’ve been trying to imagine what would be going on to block it, but I have no idea. Guess I’ll have to wait and see. (I really hope they don’t stint on rehearsals – this would be a real shame.)

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