Sorry, Austin Lyric Opera, but after several years of season tickets, we're not signing up for next year. It isn't our economy; it's your attitude. We feel alienated.
We don't like the Long Center. The auditorium rows are too close together, and the lobby lacks comfortable between-acts seating. Also, the auditorium floor slopes downward from the stage before going on the ascent, and the multiplicity of stairs, halls, and elevators we have to traverse in order to get to our designated seats is confusing.
In addition, we don't like our assigned seats. In the old venue, we paid through the nose to sit in dress circle, fourth row center, which was perfect for our failing eyesight. The first year in the new venue, you sat us on the very first row, from which our best view was of the sweat beads dancing on the conductor's head. When I complained charmingly, you switched us to acceptable seats toward the rear of the orchestra section. This year we got moved to the side aisle.
Maybe you're mad at us because we've walked out on a few stinkers--Previn's Streetcar Named Desire and the current Dialogue of the Carmelites come to mind. Maybe it's because our $250 annual donation wasn't generous enough for you. Maybe it's because we never availed ourselves of the opportunities you keep hawking to drop a wad of money on opera balls.
Or maybe it's because we never became active in the opera guild. We might have, you know, if you had continued inviting us to the free after-the-show wine and cheese socials. We talked with several interesting people at the one and only social to which we were invited.
That brings up another one of our problems. We don't know anybody. It's lonely at the opera. The glitterati meet the glitterati and we are left out in the cold. We get the feeling that we don't matter.
Because all we do is love the music.