Opera house implores audience to drink more at the bar

This is the surtitle that pops up at English National Opera during intervals:

In case you can’t decipher it, the caption reads: Please visit the bars and our shop to help us create more opera.

The shop, when we dropped in, was deserted.

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  • Their neglect this year of Turnage’s The Silver Tassie, the power and quality of which was clear from its concert performance at the Barbican on Saturday, is a testament to how completely out of touch and clueless the current management are. They don’t deserve anyone to hand over any money in their bars and shop.

  • Depending on the soloists they bring in to star in their productions, there might be a whole bunch of people rushing to get a drink during the intermission …

  • Pay homage to the idea of the Total Work of Art: have two or three beers before the third act of Tristan and get deeply involved in the hero’s agony.

    • A bit dangerous at least if at the Opera Bastille, combine that ecstacy and devestation with the visual assault of Peter Seller’s projections and one may be tempted to jumped the bannister and dive to the deck.

  • It’s no secret that movie theaters make more money on the concession stand than on the price of the ticket. Are operas heading in the same direction?

    • At least movie theatres make a try to make money somewhere. Opera loses it big time, whether or not you include the retail element, and relies on state handouts to survive.

  • Unfortunately, the last time I had a glass of wine at the ENO, about a year ago, it was so vile that I’ve never had the courage to order another one. The standard, and value, of wine at London theatres is variable at the best of times; but the red at the ENO is memorably revolting. Just another of many things that ENO needs to fix if it isn’t going to lose the last ounce of goodwill from its customers.

  • The only time I bought a glass of red wine there it was so expensive I thought they must have made a mistake. It’s cheaper, and better quality, at the Royal Opera House.

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