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It's hard to pay attention to the current Met run of Le Comte Ory when your uncontrollable inner mind keeps emitting:   WE'RE SO PRETTY OH SO PRETTY YENDE   (I should say that this star-is-born do

Dynamite-plus, even.

This reminds me of my rant about SF Ballet's Cinderella without fairy godmother or mice.

So, like, if none of the seats in an entire parterre box were sold, and someone were to buy a ticket and have the only seat in the box, does that person get to do literally whatever he or she wants, like show up late and all that? Asking for, uhh, a friend.

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Eh I'm never really going to be able to sit in box seats for the opera proper. They're dramatically cheaper (and less popular apparently) for ABT, so it seemed like a harmless silly splurge. I mean, no, clearly the private box thing is dead, but it's interesting to experience it once, at least.

 

So... the priest at the beginning did the blessing in what looked like the Orthodox rather than the Catholic way. Damn Russians.

 

After act 1 I was more in "like" than "love" – some segments of great dancing, yes, and good portrayal of characters, but the overall feeling was sort of whimsical and a bit disconnected. Expected given that it's a dream sequence, but not entirely to the ballet's benefit.

 

Act 2, though, holy crap. I started smiling like a child once things started going in act 2, and there was one spoof that caught me totally off-guard and made the entire theater break out in laughter. It's no surprise that the creator of Namouna can pull this off, but who knew it could be so damn funny?

 

Though... why Abraham Lincoln??

 

I'm still endlessly confused by the economics of ballet v opera. It's reported that Whipped Cream cost 3mm to produce, which was more than what ABT are usually willing to pay. Fine, but isn't that a really small amount compared to the cost of new opera productions? Why is it so much cheaper? The sets were pretty lavish and there were a lot of dancers involved.

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This is very funny, but all your comments -- the priest seeming Orthodox, Act 2 being a real lift-off -- are exactly what I thought.

 

Abraham Lincoln? Where was THAT?

 

I have a feeling most dancers get paid a lot less than star opera singers. And ballet sets tend to be much less ornate than opera sets (and less three-dimensional, for that matter: many ballet sets are mainly backdrops). And operas have choruses -- and dancers, for that matter.

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Note the differences between the way ballet companies and opera companies are run (at least in the U.S.).

 

The dancers are all employees on the ballet companies' payroll. Opera singers are contractors hired on a per-performance basis by opera companies.

 

Opera companies must hire star guest conductors; the conductors at ballet performances are usually non-entities. (And, here in New York, the musicians in the superlative Met Orchestra had better be paid A LOT more than those in the mediocre City Ballet pit.)

 

Ballet companies commission choreographers on a per-work basis. Opera companies hire star directors to create new productions.

 

And, as I said before, opera productions are a lot more elaborate than ballet productions.

 

It just seems obvious that opera is more expensive to put on than ballet.

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Unless you bring in a real, extant orchestra (the way Paul Taylor uses St. Luke's now), aren't ballet orchestras pick-up ensembles? So they are only together for limited services, rehearsals (probably too few) and performances. I can't imagine that a ballet company would keep musicians other than rehearsal pianists on the payroll. Ballet companies are not about the music.

 

I also can't imagine why anyone who goes to a dance performance to see the dance would want to sit in side boxes or the orchestra/parterre. You just can't SEE from there.

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@Sneakeater:

The very top left here, on the building prop... I mean, that's definitely Abe Lincoln, right?

TcFaQE8.png

Like, I can see that The Most Incredible Thing clocked in at 1.3mm, and that's relatively inexpensive and fine. But Whipped Cream seems like a pretty lavish staging. I can't imagine Alexei Ratmansky was cheap... nor Mark Ryden for that matter.

@Suzanne:

The City Ballet has a dedicated orchestra: https://www.nycballet.com/Discover/Orchestra.aspx. They are sort of about the music, too, no?

 

And my view was fine :P It was a center box.

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