Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Masterclasses - new booking process

A new, invitation-only, procedure for masterclasses in the Clore Studio is now in place for the start of the new season and is as follows :


There will be four Masterclasses in booking period 1.

From booking period 2 onwards, the booking process will be as follows:

• Patrons of Covent Garden and Premium Friends should apply for Masterclass tickets as part of their usual priority booking - dates will be printed on the personalised booking form included with About the House. Based on the small number of Patrons and Premium Friends who have booked for Masterclasses in the past we will set aside a fixed allocation of tickets, and will be monitoring booking closely to ensure that this is not exceeded.

• Friends who have signed up to the 'Masterclasses list' will be invited to apply for tickets. If we have your email address, you will be sent an invitation via email, if not, we will write to you.

• In order to ensure that as many Friends as possible are able to attend Masterclasses over the year, Friends who are unsuccessful in a booking period will automatically receive priority during the next.

This new procedure only applies to Masterclasses taking place in the Clore Studio Upstairs. Masterclasses in the Linbury Studio Theatre will continue to be advertised in About the House and booked as part of normal priority booking.

So, it looks as though no tickets for the Clore masterclasses will be made available to the public, but the position re the Linbury masterclasses remains unchanged.

I'm uncertain as to how this will work in practice. For example, if the invitations are fairly allocated, that means that those members who live far from London and who do not travel long distances for the sake of a 1.5hr masterclass, but perhaps are members because they attend some performances and like to support the Royal Opera House, will also receive invitations. No mention has been made of what happens to invitations that are not taken up. And the higher paying, (upwards of GBP 885.00) and therefore more valuable, Patrons and Premium Friends still have their tickets securely ring-fenced, much as they have always been.

Masterclasses, as I've written previously, are popular insightful events. The Clore Studio in particular offers a very intimate view of the particular subject, whether that is a rehearsal or a demonstration showing the technicalities of wigs and make-up. It will be a great shame if attending these educational events becomes as unlikely as laying a golden egg for most people.

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