Monday, May 24, 2010

Advance booking

I thought I was so damn forward looking, buying a ticket for a concert in November. November! Six months away. I've never been that organised so far in advance, not even for things like vacations, where one has to book plane tickets and hotel rooms way ahead.

The ticket was for the Berliner Philharmoniker. Yes. *A* ticket. Just one. Could not afford two. L will have to stay home with the dogs that November night.

They went on sale over the weekend, and already, all the cheap seats were gone. Although cheap seat is a misnomer in this case. At $250 for the seats behind the stage, they weren't really that cheap. I had to buy a mid-range seat, and that was on the third level balcony, the level from which I couldn't hear Prospero. And that was $140. The distance this time round cost me $240. But I'm pretty sure that I'll hear something this time round.

Comparatively, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in a couple of weeks is a mere $53, and a Chopin recital the following week cost me just $28. Even if the former was under the auspices of the Singapore Arts Festival and the latter a CIMB sponsored annual piano festival, ticket pricing boggles me.

But then again, this is THE Berliner Philharmoniker.

Still, it isn't the Berlin Phil with Herbert von Karajan leading, but with Sir Simon Rattle. And that only kind of twists the knife for me. The last time I saw Simon Rattle, he wasn't a Sir, he was conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), which was the orchestra in residence at the University of Warwick Arts Centre. As a student, I spent some evenings working as a steward at the Arts Centre, not so much for the money (a few paltry pounds per evening) but for the free concerts and plays I got to watch as part of the job. That's why it's hard for me to imagine Rattle taking on von Karajan's god-like mantle, not when my lasting impression of him was reducing the old dears in the CBSO chorus to giggly fits. And not to mention that I saw him for free, and even got a few pounds at the end of the night in the bargain!

No comments: