$25 Weekend Tickets Available For Opera Lovers During Economic Crisis

$25 Weekend Tickets Available For Opera Lovers During Economic CrisisIn response to the recession, the Metropolitan Opera's Board of Directors has decided to subsidize some of the best seats for weekend evening performances for the duration of the opera season. Approximately 16,000 prime seats in the Orchestra and Grand Tier, ranging in price from $295 to $140, will be available for $25 through a weekly drawing beginning December 8. Entries for the drawing to purchase the $25 seats will be available only at the Met's web site, www.metopera.org. The $3 million dollar cost to underwrite the program has been contributed entirely from among the Board's 45 managing directors.

"Although supported by the full Board, the idea for this program came from Agnes Varis," said Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Met. "The Board wanted to demonstrate its support for the public in this difficult time."

Dr. Varis, a managing director on the Met Board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman are sponsors of the Met's popular Rush Ticket program.

"This generous donation from the Met Board is a continuation of our efforts to broaden the public for this great art form. In this time when people are so concerned about the economy, we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to come and experience the Met from the best seats in the house," said Dr. Varis.

Beginning December 8, every Monday through the end of the Met season in May, opera-goers can sign up for the "$25 Weekend Tickets" drawing at the Met's web site. The drawing from all the entrants will be held on Tuesday morning and winners' names posted on the web site by 12 noon. Winners may then call Met Ticket Service at 212-362-6000, or go to the Met Box Office, to buy their $25 tickets, which must be paid for by Wednesday evening at 5:00 p.m. The tickets will be for Friday and Saturday night performances only, and will vary in number each week depending on the availability of tickets for that weekend's performances. Thirty-one performances will be offered on the "$25 Weekend Tickets" program.

The Met's two discount ticket programs are summarized below.

Summary of process to enter the new "Weekend Ticket Drawing,"("$25 Weekend Tickets") for Friday and Saturday evening performances only, subject to availability.

- Monday: entry forms can be filled out and submitted only on the Met's web site, www.metopera.org, beginning at 10:00 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. (ET)
- Tuesday: the drawing is held and names posted on the Met's web site at 12 noon. Winners will receive an e-mail notification.

- Wednesday: tickets must be paid for either by phone (212-362-6000) or at Met box office by 5:00 p.m on Wednesday.

- Limit of two tickets per entry.

Summary of process to obtain Varis Rush Tickets, for Monday through Thursday performances only. 200 seats available at each performance.

- Day of performance: 150 tickets available at the Met Box Office, beginning two hours before curtain time.

- Day of performance: 50 senior citizen tickets available by phone beginning at noon. Proof of age required when picking up tickets at the Box Office.

- Limit of two tickets per customer.


About the Met

Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company's repertory. The Met has made a commitment to presenting modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, with highly theatrical productions featuring the greatest opera stars in the world.

The Metropolitan Opera's 2008-09 season pays tribute to the company's extraordinary history on the occasion of its 125th anniversary, while also emphasizing the Met's renewed commitment to advancing the art form. The season features six new productions, 18 revivals, the final performances of Otto Schenk's production of Wagner's Ring cycle conducted by Levine, and two gala celebrations; the galas include the season-opening performance featuring Renée Fleming as well as a 125th anniversary celebration on March 15. New productions include the company premiere of John Adams's Doctor Atomic as well as the Met's first staged production of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust since 1906, Massenet's Thaïs, Puccini's La Rondine, Verdi's Il Trovatore, and Bellini's La Sonnambula.