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Do You Believe In Miracles???? La Scala tickets for Tosca.

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Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:11 PM
  #1
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Do You Believe In Miracles???? La Scala tickets for Tosca.

I could not find very much current info about buying tickets from the La Scala web site so I thought I would share our experience. Four of us will be in Northern Italy in May and even though we are certainly not opera buffs, we decided to try to do a “once in a lifetime” experience of attending an Italian opera at La Scala. Puccini’s Tosca happened to be scheduled for one of the nights we were planning to stay in Milan. Everything I have read said it was very difficult to buy four tickets together with decent seating to a high demand opera from the La Scala (Charta) web site. I know we could have found tickets a lot easier (and a LOT more expensive) through a re-seller than the way we did it but we decided to try to do it on our own. I just checked online and one re-seller is offering 4 tickets for our performance in the same seating category as ours for about €1000 more than we paid. Wow!

We did our research and found the date tickets were to go on sale. We did several dry runs (unless you count all the wine we drank while we were practicing – LOL!!) on other available events to figure out the process. We would have liked to sit in our own private box but it seemed very difficult to get decent box seats using the “best seat available” option (which was recommended for high demand events) on the web site so we decided to try for four seats together in the stalls section.

The big night came – we are in the USA on the East coast so the 9 AM time in Milan that the tickets went on sale was 3 AM for us. We went to our friend’s house, had a nice dinner and a couple of bottles of Barbera d’Asti, set up our four computers then went to bed to try get at least a few hours sleep. We made it up in time and began to hit the refresh button at about 2:50 just in case the clocks were somehow not in sync. We saw there were 785 seats available for our date and the button next to our date turned from blue (about to go on sale) to green (buy) exactly on time at 3 AM.

Then the first wrinkle – we had been able to ask for four tickets on every dry run we had practiced but for the date we wanted they would not let us request more than two tickets at a time. So we all kept trying for two tickets at a time. It was quite an adventure with our computers freezing up now and then, some seat options popping up that we rejected for a variety of reasons and even sometimes thinking we had good seats only to find that by the time we could hit the confirm button – they were already gone. At one point we decided to go ahead and confirm a couple of options that were not ideal just to have something to fall back on. You can only have two confirmations per person (the system gives you 59 minutes to pay for your tickets or they are released back in to the pool) so we tried not to use up our confirmations on seats we did not like.

We kept trying until one of us finally got 2 seats together in row H to pop up. We confirmed them and we all kept trying. Miraculously we had two more seats in row H pop up that were right next to the first two. We confirmed them, went through the payment process on both reservations - everything was approved and we had our payment receipts showing the transactions were complete. It was now 3:20 and of the original 785 tickets for sale - there were only 78 left – all scattered throughout the theatre.

Our kids and grandkids think we are crazy but we had so much fun with this….. AND we get to see an Italian opera at La Scala with tickets we bought on their web site! I guess I do believe in miracles!
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Feb 28th, 2012, 03:14 AM
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Seriously I am very jealous of it, I tried to buy tickets for Tosca on May-12 but the cheapest tix(26.4e) sold out in like..2 minutes??
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Feb 28th, 2012, 03:40 AM
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brill - congrats.

i've had some success in the past at buying tickets like this, I but never had to get up [or stay awake until] 3am to do it.

your tip about doing dry runs is a very good one - it took me a while to cotton onto it, so i'm obviously slower than you.

hope you have a fab time.
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Feb 28th, 2012, 06:20 AM
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What a great story! Enjoy the opera and your time in Italy!
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Feb 28th, 2012, 06:42 AM
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Great story. Mine is not so funny. I live in Luxembourg so at least the time difference did not concern me. 9 o'clock in the morning on a working day, so I could not make it easier with a bottle of wine Instead I had a lot of stress, because I wanted to buy the tickets to my husband as present for his 40th birhtday. First with two 2nd row tickets I managed to go till the payment, but instead of the expected confirmation of payment I received an error message. I did the whole thing again, and this time managed to finish the process. I bought two tickets to row 15 which is not bad either. But the surprise came when I checked my e-mails and saw that actually I managed to buy the first two tickets as well, so now I have four tickets. I have already put a separate poster offering these two spare tickets, but I wanted to share with you my story about buying tickets to La Scala on the internet.
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Feb 28th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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Do the operas at La Scala routinely sell out? Or is Tosca, for example, an especially hot ticket? Do they have standing room tickets at La Scala? If so, when do you line up for those tickets? Plenty of scalpers the might of an opera?

I mentioned to Marczinko that my brother-in-law and sister might be interested in the two extra seats she has because they are opera lovers and will be in Milan on May 11. If that doesn't work out, would there be any tickets for Tosca that day at the box office? Or standing room?
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Feb 28th, 2012, 08:07 AM
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Now that's what I call dedication.
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Feb 28th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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Hello Wanderful, I have already contacted your brother-in-law, but he did not reply yet.
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Feb 28th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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Thanks, Marczinko. As I said the price for the tickets is high, but going to La Scala would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him and my sister, and he just might decide to go ahead with it. Who knows? Obviously, keep me posted. And, of course, I would expect to hear from him directly at some point about this surprise: All of a sudden, a couple living in Luxembourg with two extra tickets for La Scala is contacting him! Extraordinary!
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Feb 28th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Way to go, john!
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Feb 28th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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Wow! I haven't checked this in a while and was quite surprised to see all the comments. We are really excited that we were able to get these tickets - but we also had to take out a third and fourth mortgage on our house to pay for them - LOL!!

yusiang - have you kept checking online? Just for the heck of it I check back periodically and every now and then, some tickets in different price ranges appear (I guess either they were turned back in or payments fell through or ???) but then they disappear as they are bought.

annhig - once you get the hang of it, the process is not difficult - but without dry runs I don't think we would have been successful.

adrienne - thanks - only 71 days until we leave.

Marczinco - I saw your thread and wish you luck in selling your tickets. Maybe we will see you there - we will be the four people who are having a wonderful time in row H.

wanderful - everything I read says the Italian operas sell out quickly - within 15 minutes or so of going on sale. I think a few tickets do go on sale at the box office on the day of the opera but I do not remember where I saw that.

Nikki - our kids and grandkids call it crazy!!!

StCirq - Thanks - and thanks for all the tips I have picked up by reading things you have posted - you give good advice.

And to be honest - we had an absolute blast doing this. As we told each other at 2:59 just before they went on sale - even if we didn't get tickets - the story of our trying would give us lots of laughs for years.
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Feb 28th, 2012, 07:15 PM
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Yes, I actually installed this 'Update Scanner' program on my PC to monitor the charta.it website. There was a pair of 180e tickets yesterday but that is too much for me...the bank wont approve my mortgage
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Feb 28th, 2012, 09:54 PM
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john, I loved the story. True dedication.

Also sounded pretty close to the same system I had to use to get Causeway tickets for one of the last shuttle launches! haha

My sister was on one phone with me and on her computer. My oldest daughter was at home on her computer, and on speaker from my cell phone. (We also had done dry runs a few days before.)

When the tickets went on sale, the three of us were flying fast and furious.

The regular single tickets were gone before any of us could even hit the save button!

My sister and I yelled out at the same time, "Go for the Lunch tickets!!" (You could pay an extra $25 per ticket and have "Lunch with an Astronaut", but this also gave you a Causeway ticket.)

Fortunately, my sister snagged the 3 tickets we needed. By the time I hit save...those too were gone. This was less than 3 minutes after the start of the sale!

Lesson learned: If you want the "base" package bad enough, go for the upgrade right away. What is that saying.."aim higher than your target and you have a better chance of hitting it?"

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Feb 28th, 2012, 10:09 PM
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All I can say is:

Bravo!
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Feb 28th, 2012, 10:53 PM
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congratulations! hope you love the opera!!

my husband's middle-of-the-night dedication scored us 2 tickets to la scala a couple of years ago.(la boheme) we were so excited to go to this grand theater for a production. we travel very light but were certain to pack our most formal (wrinkle-free) outfits.

all abuzz, and as dressed-up as we have ever been on a european trip-- we arrived at the theater. when we handed them our ticket confirmation at the door, we were stopped at the door and the usher said, "la scala. la scala." we smiled and nodded. "si. la scala! " he kept repeating this, more and more loudly, as we tried to pass through and go around him. "si. la scala" we kept repeating....

well-- as it turns out, our box seats were so far up and away-- that you didn't even enter from the front doors. he was sending us to 'la scala' (the stairway) around the side of the theater-- where you go up a drab, narrow stairway to the very way-up boxes. not quite as grand an entrance as we had envisioned.... but the opera was wonderful. we have never before, or since, seen a production with so many animals/livestock on stage!!
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Feb 29th, 2012, 02:01 AM
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wankayank6969,

I wouldn't say this is a scam, the price is great for an opera show actually. But a little bit of system/planning(i.e. audience's name on the ticket) by La Scala would prevent those scalpers from buying out all the tickets. I would rather pay more to La Scala than to these middleman.
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Feb 29th, 2012, 08:25 AM
  #17
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yusiang - good luck getting tickets - I'm sure if you told your bank it was for La Scala tickets they would approve it immediately - LOL!!

sarge56 - unfortunately because there is such high demand for certain things, advance preparation and your "lesson learned" are sometimes the only way to get what you want. The only thing I can say is having a nice glass of red wine while doing all these things makes it much more enjoyable!

zeppole - Thanks - and thanks to you too for all the tips I have picked up by reading things you have posted - you give good advice too.

kawh - what a funny story - glad you finally got in and it sounds like you enjoyed it! We are now in the "trying to figure out what to wear" phase. My friend and I have one idea but our wives have different ideas - should be interesting to see what we end up with.

Ozarksbill commented on my last France trip report that there are three parts to a trip - planning, travelling and relishing. As I said to him, I get just about equal enjoyment out of all three parts. If the travelling and relishing parts are as good as the planning part has been so far - it will be one fantastic trip....
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Mar 5th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Quick update: I guess we weren't dreaming that we were successful in buying La Scala tickets because two envelopes stamped with the official stamp of the Teatro alla Scala Ufficio Biglietteria showed up in the mail today. They were stamped on 28/02/12 and we received them 05/03/12 - much sooner than I expected. Each envelope had two tickets in it and they are exactly what we ordered. Wow - I'm starting to believe we are really going to see Tosca at La Scala!
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Apr 18th, 2012, 10:38 AM
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I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for selling two tickets. We have two extra box seats for the May 15th performance and I listed them online, but haven't had any success in selling them. Thank you in advance for any help!
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Apr 18th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Congratulations, John! (I just saw this post for the first time.)
Not a miracle, though - you worked hard for those tickets!
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