Thursday 7 January 2010

Les Troyens in Amsterdam

On Monday I logged into the Netherlands Opera's web site, Monday being the first day of booking for their production of Berlioz's Les Troyens which opens in April. And, by the wonders of Modern Technology, we acquired two tickets in the 1st Balcony for the performance on 4th April 2010. I can still remember the amount of paper work or phone calls which used to have to be suffered before you could buy ticket abroad, before the invention of the internet. It is a great boon for itinerant opera lovers such as ourselves that you can book on-line. The take up has not been universal and some opera houses were faster than others. when we booked to go and see Susan Chilcott in Poulenc's Carmelites in Amsterdam in the '90s we had to spend rather a long time on the telephone. Whereas I seem to remember that Dresden Opera House had on-line booking quite early on. But Munich had an arcane system whereby you had to write to them to request tickets, then if you got tickets they wrote to you and you had to send them a cheque (no credit cards).

On-line booking is wonderful for serendipitous opera going. Last year I read about the new production of Carmen at the Opera Comique in Paris, conducted by John Eliot-Gardiner. The Opera Comique Web-site was most helpful, we were free and there were tickets. Bingo!

In Amsterdam we will be seeing the revival of Pierre Audi's 2003 production, one that we missed in 2003 when we managed to see Trojans in London, New York and Paris. This time round Eva Maria Westbroek is Cassandre, Yvonne Naef is Didon and Bryan Hymel is Enee, with John Nelson conducting. I can't wait

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