The Met wouldn’t sell seats where you can’t see. Would it?

The Met wouldn’t sell seats where you can’t see. Would it?


norman lebrecht

December 30, 2013

Our intrepid New York operavores, Elizabeth Frayer and Shawn E Milnes, were so starved of art over the festive season that they went to see the abridged-for-kids Magic Flute. Seats were hard to come by.

The poor tourists sitting next to me were so confused and kept moving their chairs around, convinced that the Met wouldn’t sell tickets for seats where you couldn’t see the show. After much moving and talking between them, I finally turned to the older Russian couple and politely informed them they purchased partial view seats, it said so on their tickets and they were not going to be able to see the entire stage.  They pulled out their tickets and confirmed.  This settled them down, but to be honest, I think it’s practically criminal to charge $116.50 for this.

Read more here.

met partial view


  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    As a matter of fact that reminds me of my early experiences with the MET.

    Pavarotti was making his debut there in Tosca.Being a Pavarotti freak, though we did not make big money I decided for the special occasion I will buy box seats. I spent $130/seat ( my rent at the time was $160/mo.

    So now performance time. Drive into NY from CT and go to get our seats.

    Well, we were in BOX 2 back row. Not only the vision was partial but all I could hear was mainly the trombones. A first intermission I went and looked for the house manager and explained that this was not possible, and we got house seats. Right in the middle of the front section in the orchestra, center!

    YES- they do sell every seat for as much as possible!

  • Bang Bang says:

    We were looking into purchasing La Scala tickets, but read forum posts from people who claimed to have paid over 100 EUR but could see nothing except the opposite loggia during the performance.

  • anon says:

    Nietzsche would not have minded…

  • Rodney says:

    Look, the tickets clearly say partial view. When you go to buy them on the Met website they tell you multiple times that they are partial view seats. I don’t like it, and they certainly are too expensive, but they aren’t trying to be sneaky about it.

  • PK Miller says:

    The critics’ experience reminds me of a Goodspeed Opera House (Camden, Connecticut) performance some years ago where my limited vision seat for a performance of Anchors Away resulted in my seeing the show moving my torso to either side of a pillar!

    I think NY State’s own Opera Saratoga fka Lake George Opera Festival does a much better job of introducing children to opera and vice versa w/its original productions based on fairy tales–Peter & the Wolf, Goldilocks & the 3 Bears, Jack & the Beanstalk, etc. These are staged in English w/minimal sets, scenery, props but w/full costumes. staging, diction & terrific singing! It’s not only a fun way to introduce children to opera (and vice versa!) but, indeed, kids of all ages. The shows are free, last about 45 minutes are followed by a wonderful question & answer period. Kids ask great questions that we adults wouldn’t dare ask because we’re too “sophisticated” & are afraid of sounding ignorant!

  • Robert Smith says:

    Do they have a picture to illustrate what is defined by them as partial view? Perhaps people buying these tickets don’t realize how little they will see.

  • Geo. says:

    Certainlyt the Met has such seats where one can’t see the stage, but can hear. They’re the Score Desk seats, at $12, at the top and sides of the house, as reported by Zachary Woolfe recently in the NYT. Anyone who had done their homework and read carefully in advance, like what Rodney said, would know the situation in advance. This would contrast with just taking any story that makes New York City look bad and amplifying it on a blog, because of a deep-seated pathological hostility towards the city, as some like to do.

  • Name says:

    You have no idea how deep-seated the hositily runs. No. Idea.