Sold Out?! Duh. What Was I Thinking?

MetsonnambulaI’ve really wanted to attend one of the Metropolitan Opera HD live broadcasts so when I recently learned that the critically acclaimed production of Bellini’s La Sonnambula was on the schedule I was thrilled. Natalie Dessay is one of my very favorite performers and I was curious to see Mary Zimmerman’s staging.

Unfortunately (and because I’m an idiot), my excitement didn’t translate into action. It didn’t occur to me until now that it might be a good idea to buy tickets in advance. You know, like you would for a LIVE performance of a ONE DAY ONLY production. Checking the Fandango website I see it’s sold out. Probably has been for weeks. Duh. Duh. And double duh.

Well, now I know better for next time. And I just gained three hours back on Saturday. Bother.

7 thoughts on “Sold Out?! Duh. What Was I Thinking?

  1. Funny you should mention this…
    I went to my first Met HD performance last night. I got free tickets off the radio for being the third caller. It was a performance of Madame Butterfly and it was spectacular!!!
    If I do have one quibble (and it has more to do with the theater than anything) I don’t think they turned the house lights down far enough… it wasn’t completely dark like it would be for a film. I don’t know if this was a MET and/or opera thing (like keeping the lights up for the overture) but it was very distracting.
    Actually, it was a rebroadcast from last weeks performance (which I listened to via the radio simulcast and kept wishing I could see it… and what do you know—so, perhaps you will have another opportunity to see the performance you want) If they can rebroadcast in Podunk Virginia, I would think they would rebroadcast in a huge city like Chicago!
    Prepare yourself for the exact opera experience (two long intermissions) which I would think they could have edited out on a rebroadcast) but you get the bonus of backstage interviews with the cast… in addition to the intermissons.
    I was crying like a baby at the end and completely fell in love with Patricia Racette’s voice. And the sets and costumes! WOW! And the puppets! Awesome! I can’t wait to see another, but La Sommnambula is not to my taste, I’m going to wait for Aida and Turandot. (When they showed the previews of the coming season, everybody in the theater ohh’d and ahh’d when shown the clips of those two operas.
    Can you tell I’m pretty excited! Probably the longest blog comment I’ve ever made!
    BTW: They said (Renee Flemming, the commentator, I should add) that if you sign up at the MET website you get a first shot at tickets for HD performances. I don’t know the exact details, but I will be looking into for Aida.

  2. Yeah for long comments!
    T, you’re the first person I know who’s actually gone to one of these. I’ve read very mixed things about the quality of the sound/picture of past broadcasts. The trailers certainly make it look intriguing. And after years of sitting in the nosebleed section at Lyric Opera, being right there in their face, “on” stage and hovering overhead, it certainly looks worth the price of admission.
    I know what you mean about M. Butterfly. I saw it for the second time a few months ago, and as much as I was thinking “yawn yawn been there, done that” by the time they got to the part where she gives her child away, I was quite moved all over again. (Though, I still dislike the story as a whole.) And I’d forgotten how much I like the “humming chorus.” (I’m listening to it now, in fact.)
    So, you saw the version with the puppets, eh? I heard about that. Can’t imagine it with a puppet child, but I’m intrigued.
    Good to know about signing up for first notice on future performances on the Met website. I’ll do that as soon as I’m done here.

  3. Hi Kathryn,
    I went to a couple of those HD broadcasts when they first began, I think almost two years ago. I saw I Puritani and the Tan Dun opera. I wasn’t too happy with the camera work and actually wrote a long letter to them, got a nice reply, but never went back to see if anything changed.
    What I really wanted to say, is that you might check with the theater about tickets. When I bought my ticket for I Puritani I was not able to get a ticket for the other opera, which was the following week. But I asked at the box office, and lo and behold, got a ticket.
    Good luck,
    Ruthe

  4. Thanks for the tip Ruthe. I also noticed an “encore” broadcast, but it conflicts with tickets that I already have for the symphony. Argh, too much cultcha!

  5. About the camera work…
    Yes, I can see where some can be disappointed, but for this particular production (Madame Butterfly) since the story is more personal and one-on-one and the sets were so spare to begin with (the odd chair here, a paper screen there) things like close ups and odd angles wasn’t quite so jarring. Now with something more visual (like Turandot) I can imagine some being skeptical.
    And like I said before, I think the picture could have been improved if the lights were all the way down. Since this was the Anthony Minghella production, it was more like a film in some scenes in the way it was shot – I remember thinking at some points, wow, I feel like I’m seeing a film. I imagine seeing it at the MET would be a very different experience.
    The puppets were very interesting. I saw the photos of them several years back and was not very impressed, but seeing them actually perform was another thing. I even started watching the puppeteers… they were so into it themselves… their own faces reflected Sorrow’s emotions sometimes. One funny bit, all during the second act I thought there were only two puppeteers – there were actually three (Renee interviewed them at the intermission) I never even noticed.

  6. I think it is well worth it. It is not the same as a live production, of course, but the experience is fantastic if you are far from an opera house. Madama Butterfly had a couple of momentary little electronic glitches–just a second or two at most. La Sonnambula went off without a hitch, although the premise of the staging was a bit whacky. Check and see if the April 1 encore production is close to you.

  7. I’m jealous you were able to catch the performance. I wish I could make the encore but alas no go. Perhaps they’ll release it on DVD.

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