Public booking for the first half of ENO's 2013-14 season begins on 10 June. But if you're planning to see three or more operas, you can book a 'subscription' from today.
And maybe even get a few quid off as well. A reduction of 5-20% applies if you book 3 or more operas between now and 2 September 2013. Next season's price rises are shocking - top stalls price up from £99 to £125 (26% rise), and top balcony price up from £30 to £39 (30% rise) - so any discount is welcome.
An even better offer, for gamblers anyway, is the 'Secret Seat' option. For £20, you are guaranteed a seat normally priced at £25 or more, but you don't find out exactly where until three days before the show.
Given that all seats except the front two rows of the balcony cost more than £25 next season, and that recent special offers have all been priced at £20+, this is a real bargain for anyone who likes to book in advance. And ENO have guaranteed that at least some of the Secret Seats will be in the stalls. The downside is that you could end up in the cramped balcony, or in the claustrophic rear circles with no surtitles.
ENO haven't disclosed how Secret Seats will be allocated. I would hope that ENO will follow the example of Kings Place's similar Saver Seats scheme and go with a 'best available' basis, rather than just sticking everyone in the balcony.
ENO say a limited number of Saver Seats will be released. They don't specify a number, but commonsense suggests that opening nights and popular operas may sell out at some point. They also say that not all performances are included. However my own brief search failed to unearth any shows without a Secret Seat allocation.
The Secret Seats can be booked from today (for 3 or more operas only) but the subscription discount mentioned above doesn't apply.