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Deeper discounts for L.A. Opera 'Ring' cycle tickets

June 7, 2010 |  3:00 pm


Los Angeles Opera's multimillion-dollar production of "The Ring of the Nibelung" hasn't been an easy sell. In May, the company acknowledged that box office receipts have fallen below estimates, with ticket income expected to come in $1 million to $1.5 million below target.

In March, the financially strapped company created a "Design Your Own Ring" plan that offers audiences the ability to purchase tickets for as few as two performances instead of the traditional four. The plan effectively gives people the chance to see the full "Ring" at a substantial discount from the original prices.

But apparently there are still a number of empty seats. Tickets for individual "Ring" performances are now on sale on Goldstar at close to 50% off the full price.  

For the next complete cycle, which begins Tuesday, you can purchase tickets for all four operas in the Balcony A section for $152 (not including service charges), versus the full price of $300. For the final complete cycle beginning June 18, you can get orchestra seats for as little as $50 per opera.

L.A. Opera originally sold tickets only for complete packages of the "Ring" cycle. Prices for a complete cycle of all four operas generally range between $200 and $1,100, with part of the sum considered tax- deductible.

Discount tickets on Goldstar for the next two performances of "Die Walküre" appear to be the most limited for the "Ring" cycle. Of the four "Ring" operas, "Die Walküre" is arguably the most popular, with its famous "Ride of the Valkyries" passage that comes late in the story. And it's the one in L.A. featuring Plácido Domingo. 

The entire "Ring" cycle runs 19 hours (including intermissions) spread out over a course of nine days.

-- David Ng

Return to Culture Monster later today for Mark Swed's review of the first cycle.

Photo: A scene from L.A. Opera's production of "Das Rheingold." Credit: Robert Millard

Comments () | Archives (9)

Opera should be cheaper.
more people might go.
besides, the well-heeled need more opportunities to mix with the proletariat.

I was really thinking about coming over for the opera. I'd spend a couple of weeks, stay at a nice downtown hotel, take in the sites, eat in restaurants I haven't been to for several years. But then, LA city council, the country board, the school district - not to mention Hall and Oates - decided to boycott my new home - Arizona. So screw you, LA Opera! I'll stay home, eat at nice restaurants here, swim in my pool, sweat some, and donate $1000 to the Arizona Opera.

If the conductor want to make art, let him hire an orchestra and actors, finance a theatre and put on a show. Otherwise, stick to the script and produce something people want to actually watch.

No support for those Nazis !!! I hope this low life Opera will perish!!!

I saw the first two parts of the cycle last year with my wife, and I'm not surprised. They tried to turn the classic Wagner opera into Star Wars, with disastrous results.

Ha Ha!

To Excalifornian:

Don't go to this Ring before reading the comments on this board. It was the most disappointing production I've ever seen. I wish I could get a refund, as I'm trying hard not to remember it.

I guess L.A. just isn't the Met. I've learned though, and will definitely read reviews before going back next time I'm in L.A.

In the fable about the blind men and the elephant, each man has his respective experience of the elephant. From the pit as a member of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, I cannot have much of an opinion about whole productions that I am involved with, because I haven’t really seen them, but I certainly have an opinion about the music we are producing.

In the productions of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ cycle now running, there is an extraordinary phenomenon about which I have a unique point of view. The company produced each of these operas in turn over the past two years, and now we are delivering them again in their intended order as ‘Ring’ cycles.

It is familiar that producing art of all kinds is in the middle of the struggle between practicality and expression. The costs versus the returns is always on the front burner for consideration. So why have the major funders who made our ‘Ring’ production possible been persuaded that it was a good idea to produce entire productions of each of these four operas in the past two years and then turn around and present cycles of the same operas now? They could have saved a lot of money by just producing the four ‘Ring’ operas this spring, present three cycles of performances, and ‘call it good.’

Well, it would only be ‘good’ by doing it that way, and that what this letter is about. I am personally experiencing productions that are thorough, painstaking, and now very familiar to each member of the company - because of the history we have with these operas. Since the world stage of opera-loving public knows the power of the ‘Ring,’ how should we mount these operas so they are on a high enough level? Well, you spend enough energy, time, and, yes, money on them so that they are beyond merely ‘good.’ Add inspired conducting and singing and thorough professionalism and you get truly brilliant music-theatre.

I think we of the company are enjoying the benefit of vision in the artistic [and financial] leadership. So many things in life are compromised to limited vision that it is even necessary to be reminded just what the results of real vision would be. Here at LA Opera, we are producing great opera prepared thoroughly and presented passionately, and I, for one, am thrilled to be a part of it.

It should be noted that there has been an experiment going on throughout the process of developing these performances. A cover has been placed over the orchestra pit. This refers to the cover permanently present over the Bayreuth pit as Wagner intended it, a move that also prevents light from the music stand lights bleeding onto the stage. A vigorous creative dialogue has been going on over these two years, and now the cover is partially open, reducing the cover’s damping effect upon the sound of the orchestra. But that cover cannot dampen the amazing difference in the sheer rich, unified power of the sound of this orchestra from our first foray into the ‘Ring’ operas two year ago to the present productions.

David H. Young
principal double bass, Los Angeles Opera Orchestra

Outstanding!!! Bravo!!! My family and I have been thoroughly enjoying the Ring cycle!!! Powerful, captivating...everyone should experience it's power. A true cultural experience. Downtown L.A. is fun and exciting...Who knew? I have found myself getting more and more intrigued as the cycle moves on. Now, I am looking forward to the last two performances with great interest!


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