I had to read through several reviews to confirm that I am not being unreasonable in my opinion. Some people have complained that they saw nothing from their seats, but I had balcony seats, the best in the house, and I still have plenty of issues with what happened.
We bought tickets to the Caplet/Farrenc performance months in advance, for guests who have travelled halfway across the world for an experience. We all looked forward to it, and it was to be the highlight of the Paris experience. The show itself was a grand disappointment; the MC was inarticulate and I was only glad she limited herself to French, and did not repeat the dreadful spiel in English, and saved everyone from embarrassment and boredom. The performance was surprisingly short, and we thought the end was only an intermission.
That misconception was quickly rectified when the ushers started hollering to please vacate the place as they were closing up. With all due respect, a concert hall with an international reputation showing people out at quarter past nine on a Sunday evening, after a disappointing and disappointingly short performance, is quite incredible. The audience moved out for the chance to take some pictures and we were moved along from there too. They were really in a hurry to dump us out in the cold, dark, wintery night, I had entered the ladies for all of thirty seconds when someone came in to shout after me that they were closing up and I had to come out.
At the same time, they had no compunction keeping the boutique open for anyone interested in spending more money if they so desire. We were not hurried out of the shop at all, and took our time to choose our purchase. Whereupon paying and stepping out of the shop and back to the darkened Opera foyer, we were greeted with stoney-faced security showing us the exit.
The contrast between the rich splendor of the decoration and the absolute lack of class in how they treat the patrons leaves a distinctly bad taste in my mouth. The whole thing just stinks of pretension to me now. It is such a shame, I can never look at the Opera in the same light of reverence again, and never will I bring overseas friends to visit.
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