Saturday, May 10, 2008

Reaching the limits of its capacity?

Went to the opera house today, had heard of a premiere I had missed, of two ballets, one being 'Firebird'. (How can this happen? I don't know.)

As usual found the computer screen showing the available seats covered in about 99% blanks - ie sold seats. It's amazing. Even last Thursday the house was packed for 'Red Giselle' - not the newest production, and it is May, while the Filharmonija filled only about 30 - 40% of its seats for Justus Frantz and Mahler.

In earlier years it was nearly always possible to get quite good seats quite close to the performance, but recently that has become virtually impossible. It's a great success for the opera house! How can we increase the capacity for the singers to sing more, the dancers to dance more and the orchestra to play more, so the average Joe Public can go to the performances? Double the orchestra size, for starters?

Found a group of 8 French people trying to communicate with the lady at the box office; not wonderfully successfully despite the use of English. Stepped in and helped out. You have no idea how difficult it was for me to translate straight from French into Lithuanian - kept getting stuck a) on staying in French, and b) on Russian words, before clearing the blockage. I understood both sides perfectly.....