Due to my exalted status as a 'Ring Subscriber', La Scala have kindly offered me the opportunity to buy tickets for this season's opening night, 7 December, when Daniel Barenboim will conduct Lohengrin with Jonas Kaufmann and (maybe) Anja Harteros.
But the opportunity to flaunt one's diamonds, furs and botox alongside the other waxy orange gargoyles doesn't come cheap. The top price of € 2,400 covers a range of box seating from front row in the 1st circle to second row in the 3rd. Few offer a perfect view. All the lowest price of € 600 will get you is a third-row box seat in the 4th circle, from which little will be either audible or visible.
Yet, as every year, and despite the Italian public's general disdain for Wagner, the show is bound to sell out. Yesterday's rare recital at La Scala by the great Rene Pape on the other hand was far from full. Perhaps the tickets weren't expensive enough.