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Subject: "Paris disappointments" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1014
Reading Topic #1014
Ann Williams

25-10-00, 06:28 PM (GMT)
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"Paris disappointments"
 
  
I'm glad now that I wasn't overly-successful in getting a large ballet.co party together for a visit to POB. Trog (Martin) was the only taker in the end and I think we both agreed that 'Raymonda' was nothing special (I will put a very brief review together later). But the big disappointment came last night; when we turned up for the Balanchine/Robbins bill we were blandly informed that the performance was CANCELLED due to industrial action! You can imagine how we felt. Martin was quite philospophical about it (because he's a very nice chap) but I was absolutely furious about what I consider to be a typically French piece of selfishness. Did they not think that some folk might have come from long distances to see the performance? No matter; they just smiled sweetly and seemed surprised at my anger. I refused the money-back option because I want blood, i.e. I want a ticket for a future performance of the programme, plus my Eurostar return fare and one night's accommodation at a three-star hotel. What do you think my chances are?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Paris disappointments Rosalie 25-10-00 1
     RE: Paris disappointments Ann Williams 25-10-00 2
         RE: Paris disappointments Naoko S 25-10-00 3
             RE: Paris disappointments LD 26-10-00 4
                 RE: Paris disappointments Eugene Merrett 26-10-00 5
                 RE: Paris disappointments Naoko S 27-10-00 6
  RE: Paris disappointments Bruce Madmin 27-10-00 7
  RE: Paris disappointments Robert 31-10-00 8
     RE: Paris disappointments Steven Rowland 08-11-00 9
         RE: Paris disappointments Robert 09-11-00 10

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Rosalie

25-10-00, 07:07 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #0
 
   Ann,
I am sorry you were so disappointed, and I know the feeling: only last season I missed two performances I was really looking forward to (Nozze di Figaro and Giselle with Guillem) because of strikes. I am afraid strikes are very frequent in France, not only at the Opera. I don't think, however, that it is quite legitimate to talk of "a typically French piece of selfishness". The role of unions and the importance of the right to strike in the public service in France is very different from the situation in England because of a multitude of historical, political and economic reasons, and cannot be reduced to a dubious national "psychology", if there is such a thing. You mention the discomfort induced for those who may have come especially : I assume you have never been in Paris during a RATP (bus and metro) or SNCF (rail) strike, or you would probably also have taken things a bit more philosophically!
I hope you will excuse my patriotic reaction, and that you will not take too grim a point of view. Did you get a ticket for another performance? There might be some left for the 7th (that's the date I'm going). Maybe you could take the opportunity to catch the Forsythe program which is performed on the 6th and the 8th.
Good luck!


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Ann Williams

25-10-00, 08:09 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #1
 
  
Rosalie

The point here is that the Balanchine/Robbins was the programme I specifically wanted to see. And how much confidence could I have that the Forsyth programme would not also be cancelled? Plus, of course, I simply can't afford another Eurostar fare and overnight hotel stay so soon because I'm not rich.

I'm sorry for getting so angry with 'the French'; of course I don't mean the entire nation! But I'm glad you understand, and I will be going over to see the 'Jewels' programme between Christmas and New Year (though I will need a sworn statement from POB that there won't be a strike!).


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Naoko S

25-10-00, 10:36 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #2
 
   > and I will be going over to see
>the 'Jewels' programme between Christmas
>and New Year (though I
>will need a sworn statement
>from POB that there won't
>be a strike!).

That's the spirit, Ann! I too would be planning to cross the channel to catch 'Joyaux' if I were lucky enough to book a ticket.... Dissapointingly it appears the share of tickets allocated to on-line booking was already sold out for the first night. Though there's still a chance via telephone booking, past experience makes me feel rather pessimistic...

Would French friends please tell me:

1) Has POB started selling tickets for Joyaux at Box Office?
2) Is there any chance to secure a place on the day of the performance for the evening like 15 Dec (opening night of a production + Defille)?

Many thanks in advance for any info.




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LD

26-10-00, 00:25 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #3
 
  
>
>
>1) Has POB started selling tickets
>for Joyaux at Box Office?
>

Box office tickets are sold 15 days before the performance.

>2) Is there any chance to
>secure a place on the
>day of the performance for
>the evening like 15 Dec
>(opening night of a production
>+ Defille)?
>
The best way to book a ticket is probably by postmail.I wouldn't try by phone.The 15 dec seems very popular.Otherwise there are always people selling tickets just before the performance.



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Eugene Merrett

26-10-00, 12:01 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #4
 
   There is nothing selfish about the French. France was rather like in England was 30 years. This country use to be very bad with impromptu strikes.

I am sure there will be a cultural change in France soon.

Whatever you say about Ms Thatcher - at least she insisted that workers had to be balloted before strike action. And you cannot really argue with that bit of legislation as it is clearly more democratic!

The film Bill Elliot gives rather scant reference to this inconvieniant arguement against the miners strike!


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Naoko S

27-10-00, 10:51 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #4
 
   Thanks LD for info. I'm aware postal booking is best but haven't got a booking form.... Will try every means to secure a place!



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Bruce Madmin

27-10-00, 11:15 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #0
 
   >I want a ticket for
>a future performance of the
>programme, plus my Eurostar return
>fare and one night's accommodation
>at a three-star hotel.
>What do you think my
>chances are?

Go for it and give them hell!

It's about time that 'suppliers' realised that major pain is caused to people at such times. One can't help but feel that if they had to pay out money in such circumstances, their act would be all the sharper and such let downs would be less likely to occur in future...


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Robert

31-10-00, 11:09 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #0
 
   I do not think you have much chance of getting any money back. A few weeks ago I was unable to go to Paris because of French Rail strikes. I lost theatre tickets for three nights! I tried Eurostar, my insurance, and my credit card company without success.One theatre (The Opera Comique has now refunded my money.) No luck with the Bastille. I have just been to Paris and was unable to book for the Ballet as it was a private performance of the Robbins etc only. I booked for the Opera (War and Peace) only to find it was cancelled by industrial action. It is a good job there are so many Art galleries in Paris, Music Opera and Ballet are not worth booking for.Thank goodness we have such good Ballet and Opera here and at relatively cheap prices. Forget Paris you cannot get in without influence knowledge or a friend in Paris and you are likely to have your evening spoilt by self important strikers. If you do get a ticket it will probably be at The Bastille,the ugliest theatre in Europe.Perhaps we should all stop grumbling about Covent Garden.


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Steven Rowland

08-11-00, 00:02 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #8
 
   I think you're being unfair to say you can't get in unless you have influence and know the right people. This year I have got tickets for Balanchine's Jewels and for War and Peace at the Opera just booking on the internet - I don't have any influence in Paris. Of course it's disappointing when performances are cancelled, especially when you've spent a lot of money to get there, but that doesn't mean it's not worth making the effort to see something special. You just have to make sure you combine your ballet performance with something else interesting - as you say, there are lots of galleries etc. in Paris as well as many other great things to do. My War and Peace performance was cancelled but I got a full refund and while I would rather have seen War and Peace, I don't feel I wasted my trip. Life's too short to feel bitter!


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Robert

09-11-00, 01:30 AM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Paris disappointments"
In response to message #9
 
   I got my money back for War and Peace, but I lost all my money for the three theatres I had booked at the end of September, when the French Railways were on strike, perhaps that is why I would be very cautious in future. You are right to point out that Paris is wonderful for Art and we had an excellent time looking at pictures and eating and walking about, but we could not book the Ballet from England, and we were not able to visit the Opera, despite having booked by phone from here using the expensive charge per minute, POB system for two seperate visits. Potential Paris Ballet or Opera visitors beware!


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