How much would you pay for a Resurrection?

How much would you pay for a Resurrection?


norman lebrecht

July 07, 2022

One of our readers points out that the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is opening its season with Mahler’s Second Symphony (“Resurrection”) on five consecutive nights from 20th to 24th July under new principal conductor Simone Young at the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House.

Top price tickets are $A157.00 or US $107.

In London, Vasily Petrenko’s performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall on March 23 2023, top price tickets will cost £55.50 or US $66.61

So what are they charging in your town?

And how much would you pay?



  • pjl says:

    most halls in England have acceptable seats from £15-25. For Andras Schiff’s Beethoven cycle at QEH I got seats a few rows from the back (relatively small hall) for £10 (best seats £60). Promming is famously cheap (now £7-12p inc fees) but unless you have a mobile phone (I hate them) you can no longer Prom. The sound in the slips at Covent Garden is good and for an 80% view of the stage you can pay about £15 instead of £150 to £200.
    Some halls eg Bridgwater Hall have great day seat offers on the morning of a concert: not much sells out these days…though a Mahler 2 with Sir Mark would sell out I suppose.

  • David Kloepper says:

    Sunday, Oct 30, 2022 Maison de la Radio Paris. I purchased two tickets – 1st balcony, front loge, Row O, Seats 6&8. Total cost for the 2 was 134 Euros.

    Artists: Golda Schultz, Gerhild Romberger, Mikko Franck cond. Radio Philharmonic, Radio Chorus

  • pjl says:

    ps we are so lucky that the very greatest music (yes an old-fashioned elitist view) is available in concert at much less than arena rock/pop concerts where you might be a long way from the speakers (sic) as well as the performer and usually cheaper then football also…
    we must support live music..I have tickets this season for London, Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Eastbourne, Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Guildford Huddersfield, Gateshead and Paris; after the lockdowns it is great to be able to travel again.

  • MacroV says:

    Royal Albert Hall is twice the capacity of the Sydney OH, so they can raise similar revenue with cheaper tickets.

    It’s a rebuilt hall, so some curiosity value.

    The Sydney SO is a real orchestra; I believe a certain music journalist once called the RPO an “orchestra without a purpose.”

    In any case, I always buy the cheap seats; did so as a student, do so now much more flush in my late 50s. Better sound and view.

  • Antwerp Smerle says:

    The Cambridge Philharmonic is playing Mahler 2 in Ely Cathedral tomorrow (Saturday 9 July 2022) . Top price is GBP 30 (USD 25).

    That venue is where a film was made, by Humphrey Burton, of Leonard Bernstein conducting Mahler 2 with the London Symphony and soloists Sheila Armstrong and Janet Baker. That was on Sunday 2 September 1973. I was there. The tickets were free!

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    The name of the orchestra is very important for Mahler. Today Mahler is played so frenquetly … But I’am suprised that they do 5 times the same programm normally for a local orchestra it’s twice the same programm.

    • Tony Sanderson says:

      The Sydney performances celebrate the reopening of tha Sydney Opera House Concert Hall after being closed for two years because of COVID.

      I have tickets for the Saturday night concert. Despite there being five performances, they are all almost sold out. There is obviously a pent up demand for live classical music in Sydney.

      • Angela says:

        The SSO has been giving live concerts all year, as have other presenters in Sydney. Not so a much pent-up demand for live music, as:
        * chance to experience the newly reopened Sydney Opera House concert hall after two years of renovation work
        * chance to hear the orchestra with its new chief conductor

    • Tony Sanderson says:

      Their next set of concerts features Hilary Hahn playing Prokofiev’s 1st Violin Conerto and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique and is performed three times.

      Repeating programmes may be to do with the geography of Sydney being a more isolated city than those is Europe. However, that is just a guess.

      • Angela says:

        Repeating a mainstage program three times was normal for the SSO when performing in the Sydney Opera House pre-pandemic. There’s a reasonably healthy subscription base plus a sizeable market of tourists/curious visitors who just want to see/hear something in the Opera House given that it’s an international icon. The tourist market would still be depressed at the moment but for a little while at least it will probably be compensated for by locals curious about the visual and acoustic result of the renovation

  • Jonathon says:

    The Aix-en-Provence festival are performing a ‘staged’ version right now. Tickets range from 31 to 206 euros!

  • offspinner says:

    According to the RAH web site the performance is on 30 March, not 23.

    • Tony Sanderson says:

      The full series is Mahler 8 Sunday 23 October 2022

      Mahler 2 Thursday 30 March 2023

      Mahler 3 Thursday 27 April 2023

      So your correction is right.

  • Aussie says:

    It’s not the season opener — in Australia we do a calendar-year season. It is however the long-awaited RE-OPENING of the Opera House Concert Hall after its first-ever major make-over. Here’s hoping the acoustics have improved… So congrats to them that they can sell 5 nights. Perhaps we should be talking about average ticket prices, but AUD$157 for a premium seat at a ‘gala’ event is a great price I would have said. For comparison, that’s much the same price as the cheapest seats to see Jonas Kaufmann sing Lohengrin in Melbourne recently.

  • Dave says:

    Resurrections are ten-a-penny nowadays anyway. I know the bums-on-seats rule applies, but aren’t there other things that deserve an airing?

  • simon says:

    personally, I wouldn’t pay anything for that superannuated pile of musical tripe (or anything else by GM)

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    Top prices are not so important. What is important are the cheapest tickets. Low prices are essential to make great art accessible.

    I haven’t been there for over 30 years, but I think a ticket for the Stehplatz of the Musikverein in Vienna goes for 5-10 EUR depending on the concert. A student told me that the Stehplatz at the Musikverein is always full of tourists in the first half of concerts, and that after they have their photos they leave leaving a much emptier and confortable Stehplatz in the second half.

    • Angela says:

      Looks like the cheapest advertised seats at the Sydney Mahler 2 concerts are A$42 (so long as you’re under 30yo).

      By comparison, a regular cinema ticket is usually around A$20 to A$25

      As someone else has said, A$157 is relatively cheap for premium seats at a special event/gala orchestra concert in Sydney. For example, the Australian World Orchestra (which gathers to perform once a year) is performing an all-Richard Strauss program with Zubin Mehta in the same hall. Cheapest adult tickets are $89. Premium seats are $329. Concession prices are only $5-10 cheaper. At those prices, even with a big name visiting conductor, no surprise they’re only offering one performance.

  • John Kelly says:

    I am going to the Salzburg Festival in August. 4 concerts and an opera. Concert tickets (in what I deem to be “second best section” – i.e. not the most expensive) 120-160 Euros each. Opera is 455 Euros (ouch! – but I’d pay twice as much to hear Asmik Grigorian who hasn’t come to the Met yet – wake up Mr Gelb!!!). Carnegie Hall tickets typically $30 (Balcony, best sound) to $200. Likewise Boston or Philadelphia. Met Opera $30 (Family Circle) or less standing to $500-ish. They used to be more in the “best” seats, and prices are lower than a few years ago.

  • PG Vienna says:

    With the Vienna Philharmonic or another top level visiting orchestra it will set you back by 150 Euros.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    If they have unlimited amounts of tiramisu and dark chocolate in heaven, and you don’t get fatter in the process of consuming it 24/7/365, then I guess I would pay for a resurrection with my very life (how’s that for being Mahlerian, as in “Das irdische Leben”).

  • Jeffrey Merta says:

    I live in a town serviced by a mid ranged orchestra and I believe their seats are around $50.00US.

    As to what I would pay that would depend entirely upon the orchestra, conductor and whether the hall had a real organ. Dudamel, BPO could get up to $500.00US out of me for a good seat.

  • Henry Fabhosta says:

    I think that’s about right for an RPO concert. You get what you pay for.

  • Craig D Kowald says:

    24 bucks as a season ticket holder in Seattle.

  • The View from America says:

    This symphony is hardly in need of resurrection — at whatever price.

  • Una says:

    Going to the Proms on 23rd August to hear Sarah Connolly with Simon Rattle conducting the CBSO and LSO Choruses, and the LSO orchestra, all for £17, plus Birtwistle’s wonderful Donum Simoni. And Cav & Pag at the Garden for £11 standing at the back of the Amphitheatre where you can see and more hear everything, and and likely find a seat! Say no more!

  • Kyle A Wiedmeyer says:

    Here in Milwaukee $107 is roughly what you could expect to pay for box seats for an in-demand concert. Down in Chicago it’s what you could expect for semi-decent seat on any night.