choosing seats at La Scala

Old Nov 20th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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choosing seats at La Scala

We're going to be in Milan in a few weeks, and we'd like to take in a concert of Schubert sonatas, performed by Daniel Barenboem, part of a Schubert cycle they're featuring this year.

Almost all the seats are the same price, except for those in the galleries or the second row of boxes. We don't want either of those, so our choices are in the orchestra or the boxes. We have the option of choosing specific seats, or of choosing a section and letting them give us the best seats in that section.

Does anyone have any advice on the best spots for a concert of piano music? How are the views from the orchestra seats? I've heard that the acoustics are superb everywhere, but if there is any advice regarding the best spots, I'd be glad to know. There aren't a lot of spots remaining, Mostly, I can choose between orchestra seats about half-way back, or box seats at the stage end of the horseshoe. The seats on the left seem to be more popular, as there are fewer of them left.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 08:35 AM
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I have never attended a concert at La Scala, but I recently had a private tour and I would pick a box seat over an orchestra seat any time. The accoustics are great everywhere, but the views from the boxes are better IMO. Also, better leg room in the boxes if that matters.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 08:45 AM
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I haven't been to La Scala but find a lot of seating just personal preference. I go to a lot of recitals and concerts and dance, so know where I prefer to sit for each. For example, I don't enjoy the first balcony for dance as I don't care for that view or angle, but I know others who like it.

As for piano recitals, being a solo instrument, you can tolerate a much closer seat than an orchestra. I usually sit as close as I can, as long as it isn't far off to one side. It sounds like you aren't familiar with piano recitals as people always want to sit on the left side so they can view the pianists' hands. I do play the piano so sometimes enjoy that (and I especially like to be able to see their pedaling technique), but a lot of people who do that aren't musicians and some don't even know why they are doing it, they just know one is supposed to sit on the left side. Of course, iot is true that if seeing someone is of prime importance, you can't see them much at all from the right side due to the position of the piano and the lid being raised. But the sound may be fine.

As with any musical instrument, though, you still want to be at least a few rows back to get a full sound. You don't have much choice, so mid-orchestra sound about the best. If the box seats you are talking about are right next to the stage (sounds like it), I would never want those for any performance of any kind, either musical or dance or theater.

I avoid letting a venue choose "best seat" for me, if possible, as their idea of best seat is never mine. it is usually the closest row which is often not a good seat for anything (like row A).
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