As a culture, we are do not place the arts very high up. I grew up in a Canadian household with a British father, my grandfather sang Opera and played the violin, although he was a jeweler by profession. I was also lucky to be raised in a university city where access to the arts through the universities made seeing all types of performances possible and often not to hard on the wallet.
Now, as a writer/blogger I do get invited to see performances, but I also make it a priority to see many more performances than I am invited to. The arts are something I value and want to support, but even more importantly, and perhaps selfishly, the arts, visual and performing lift me up, make me think, remind me what it feels like to be alive rather than just going though the motions. The arts are as important for my soul as the air I breathe is for my body.
Having said this, I realize that spending money on a performance comes out of the “luxury” part of our budgets. I say, splurge when you can, but if you cannot there are often ways to see a performance on a budget.
Boston Ballet at the Opera House
Boston Ballet has group sales (get a group of friends together) which are a great deal. There are also Rush tickets for the children and grandparents ($20 cash only ages 7-17 and 65+), and the Curtain Pass. If you’re good with last minute plans then there is also one of my favorite ways to get discounted tickets to all kinds of events and performances through Goldstar.com.
Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall
Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) rush tickets are available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings or on Friday afternoons. Rush tickets are set aside to be sold on the day of the performance. These tickets are sold at $9 each, cash only and one to a customer, at the BSO Box Office on Massachusetts Avenue on Fridays beginning at 10am, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5pm. Please note that there are no Rush Tickets available on Friday or Saturday evenings.
The BSO holds open rehearsals so you can see a “performance” for less. And, for those of you under 40, there is the 20 under 40 program. Tickets are $20 for up to two concert-goers who are under 40. There are select blackout dates.
BSO Youth concerts are free for Boston Public School students and their teachers. For others, tickets are $10 each and may be purchased online or by calling SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200, or at the Symphony Hall Box Office. There is a $1.50 handling fee for each transaction.
World Music/CRASHArts always has a great assortment of performances. You can often find 1/2 price tickets at BosTix for the performances.
For discounts on all kinds of performances, art fairs and festivals it is definitely worth checking out the Mayors Holiday specials which include 1/2 price tickets to so many outings.
It just so happens that we live in a city full of talented music and conservatory programs. Many concerts are free or cost very little and are in some of the most fabulously designed spaces new and old. From the young students at the Walnut Hill School to students at the New England Conservatory or Berklee College of Music, and of course all the other universities around. A favorite performance of ours is to try and catch the MIT Logs for their a cappella shenanigans.
Whether its a stretch to buy tickets to any performance or not, I always try to make ends meet to go to a show because for me the arts are an experience that is always uplifting and rejuvenating; it is good for the mind, heart and soul. I also think there’s nothing like a live performance and its an important thing to introduce your children to the arts and support the arts any way possible.
So whether you’ve got orchestra seats, rush tickets, or can almost touch the ornate ceiling from your seats the experience of a night at the ballet is hard to match!