How to Choose the Best Seats for Opera at The Granada Theatre
Choosing the Best Seats at The Granada Theatre
When it comes to buying the best seats for a show, there is only one “universal truth” and that is: The earlier you buy, the better combination of value and price you get.
In deciding which seat to buy to maximize the best possible experience and price points, you may first want to decide the order in which the following factors are important to you:
- READING THE SUPERTITLES
Seat pricing reflects how many of these factors are optimized, as well as the demand for each section. All seats in The Granada are great, but below are some thoughts on how each section serves the priorities above.
Even in a state-of-the-art theatre like The Granada, sounds vary from seat to seat. Classical music enthusiasts have their favorite spots and will defend their subscription seats with their lives! After all, opera is the only place where you can hear the human voice unamplified, accompanied by a completely acoustic orchestra.
The theatre’s acoustics are a big part of the magic (the mics and the sound board you may see during a performance are for recording the performance, piping the sound to backstage headsets, and helping the singers hear the orchestra better.)
The best sound in The Granada is, in my opinion, on the Orchestra level up to about Row Q and in the Loge in the Lower Balcony. As a conductor I take great pains to ensure that the orchestra never covers the singers. That being said, if you want to hear a mix that clearly favors the voices, buy a seat on Orchestra level. If you want a more balanced mix, with the orchestra sound more integrated, buy a seat in the Loge or Lower Balcony.
The overall experience changes vastly depending how far you are from the stage. The front Orchestra seats—up to Row G—cannot be beat if you’re looking to be “in the action”. You can see the fine details of the acting, the scenery, costumes, and experience the splendor of the human voice and charisma of our performers to the max.
One word of caution: It is harder to see the supertitles here, so if this is important to you, buy a seat behind Row E.
If you prefer a panoramic view, the Loge and Lower Balcony is the place for you and a great place for reading the supertitles. Finally, if you want to be able to glance at the action in the orchestra pit, grab some of those fun Orchestra Box seats and make sure to wave hello to the musicians and me!
Just like on the airplane, everyone wants an aisle seat. For that reason, those seats are more expensive. You are paying a premium for being the first to the restroom, the bar at intermission, or first out to the garage at the end of the evening. If that’s not important to you, save some $$ and sit in the middle of the row.
Regardless of whether you are in an aisle or middle seat, please keep your seat belt fastened for the duration of the performance. Opera is pretty powerful stuff!
If you want to stretch your legs, Orchestra Rows H and HH, the Loge, and Balcony Rows E and M are the place for you. These seats are among the more expensive and they sell out weeks or months before opening night. If this is important to you, buy your tickets early—or even better, become a subscriber and choose the best seats according to your preferences before sales open to the general public.
English supertitles are projected above the stage at every production, even the ones that are sung in English. The placement of the supertitle screen offers excellent visibility from everywhere in the house except the first five rows of the Orchestra level or so, where you would have to turn your head up if you want to read them.
Our least expensive tickets start at $29. Buy early for some great value seats on the outside aisles of the Front Orchestra or the first two rows of the Upper Balcony. Those will probably be gone by the time this is posted, so although some bargain seats will be available, you may want to spring for the D Level tickets, usually priced around $50, which are our best seller and an excellent value.
Wherever you end up sitting, we’d love to see you there for an unforgettable experience!
– Kostis Protopapas
Artistic and General Director Opera Santa Barbara