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 Post subject: A Knight at the Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2001 12:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
There is a Gala send-off for Sir Anthiony Dowell on 23rd May. It is a huge financial success as many of the tickets are £1000 or £750 and it is sold out.<P>However, there are still 108 unsold places for the Dowell Gala. Namely the standing places distributed around the auditorium. The organisers of the Gala have ignored the much improved organisation of the standing places in the new auditorium and carried on with the policy of no standing places in Galas. I have set out my thoughts on this to Tony Hall, the new Executive Director in a letter and I give extracts below.<P>If you are concerned that over 100 ballet fans are being prevented from enjoying this unique occcasion, then feel free to Copy and Paste the text, personalise it and send it off. <P> <BR>Tony Hall<BR>Executive Director<BR>Royal Opera House<BR>Covent Garden<BR>London WC2E 9DD<P>Dear Mr Hall<P><I>Introduction - perhaps congratulations on the new position and a few words on who you are</I><P>My reason for writing to you is the forthcoming Gala on 23rd May, 'A Knight at the ballet - a tribute to Sir Anthony Dowell'. A fitting celebration of his career and his enormous contribution to UK ballet, both as a dancer and as Artistic Director of the RB. As you can imagine the range of dancers and works on show will make it an occasion to die for if you are a ballet lover. I am delighted that the evening is sold out, despite many seats being £1000 or £750. There are cheaper seats in the amphitheatre for £100 down to £10, however demand for these seats has been hugely oversubscribed and many, many devoted ballet fans have not been able to get a seat despite applying as soon as booking opened.<P>However, 108 places in the auditorium remain unsold. These are the standing places distributed around the auditorium. The Floral Trust, who are organising the event say that standing places are never sold for the Galas. They have said that they will think about it for future Galas but nothing can be done for this occasion. This policy might have made sense in the old ROH where the standing places were unreserved and basically a free for all which could generate unpleasantness as people chased up the stairs to get the best position and when someone shifted in the interval etc. However, in the new ROH the standing places are discreet and numbered with a comfortable arm rest in front and can provide excellent sightlines especially from the 54 places at the back of the stalls circle. <BR> <BR>Thus, over 100 ordinary ballet lovers are missing out on a memorable occasion for obsolete reasons. In addition, at least another £1500 could be raised from the sale of these places, which would flow almost straight to the bottom line of this fund-raising event. Even at this stage a mechanism could easily be put in place to sell these places. It is normal at the ROH for around 65 seats to go on sale on the day from 10am. The 108 places could easily be put on sale in the same way particularly as there will be no day seats for the Gala. In-house publicity, the media and the ROH and other website could be used to publicise the release of these seats. <P>Unfortunately, with the current policy the House once again risks the charge of elitism, when a great deal of good publicity could be generated by the release of the standing places. I urge you to consider this option and use your influence to effect a change of policy; thereby creating over 100 very happy ballet lovers at a stroke and much goodwill for the Royal Opera House with opportunities for positive media coverage. <P>Yours sincerely<P><BR>

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