Ring foregone

The Opera Australia 2013 Melbourne Ring was apparently sold out in the first day of general ticket sales on Monday.

Right up to the last minute, at about 11pm Sunday night, I contemplated going in to work to fax in an application which would enjoy whatever slender advantage I could secure as a subscriber before tickets went on sale to the general public for next year’s Melbourne Ring Cycle.

In the end, I stayed home and watched Downton Abbey on the PVR. Which is really only a step above saying I stayed at home to wash my hair (of which I have little).

I just couldn’t accept spending as much as I spend for a whole year’s concerts and opera (including for D) for just 4 nights just for me – bearing in mind that on top of even the cheapest possible tickets I would have to travel to Melbourne and stay there for 8 nights.

Perhaps I’m stubborn, but I also find it difficult to apply for seats, especially cheaper seats, without knowing what seat I will get, and there would be something odd about spending (my modest estimate) $1500 for a week in Melbourne (leaving aside even my presently extremely modest income lost in the meantime) and then skimping on the tickets. And to tell the truth, I find hotels anywhere, and especially in Australia, dispiriting. That was a bit of a bind really, because it’s not as if, having committed to such an extravagance as “The Ring” I felt I could spring into action to cultivate my few Melbourne acquaintances in the hope of a place to stay.

I could have flown to Dusseldorf this July, stayed with a good friend in the suburbs near Essen and taken the bus and train to an entire Barry Kosky cycle in Essen for less. And then I would also have been to Germany (and seen my friend, honestly!)!

So shoot me: travelling to Melbourne isn’t as alluring to me as all those ads with the big balls of wool are intended to suggest.

I think the accommodation was the killer. That’s a funny Sydney-Melbourne thing isn’t it, that I have more and better friends (possibly also richer) in Germany than I do in Melbourne?

Had I lived in Melbourne, I would happily have signed up for three series at the cheapest price and accepted whatever seat I could get, despite the cast (strong at the top but not so top-dollar at the tail), the scratch orchestra and the conductor (though I hope he rises to the occasion). I could even manage standing room, if there was any.

Complaints by others reported here.

I should laugh at myself: it’s a kind of little-match-girl moment except that I’ve strolled past match girls (figuratively; literally, the homeless Buddhist on Macquarie Street) on my way to my seat at the opera plenty of times, and I’m sure I’ll get over it.

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