The Music Room > General Classical Music Discussion

Where do you prefer to sit in a concert or opera house?

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Siedler:
The main floor (orchestra) or up high in the gallery? I know that every house is acoustically different but I think there are some general rules. I have often heard how the cheap gallery seats, high up there near the ceiling, are the best acoustically. Indeed they are, as I noticed while sitting in the 3rd balcony of Finnish National Opera. It was amazing experience to feel how the sound washed through my body during those triumphal scenes of Turandot. Of course the seats were too far away, though.
I've also noticed that's one shouldn't sit too near the orchestra or it sounds unbalanced. Also, never sit below an over-hang! Both Wiener Staatsoper and Musikverein has the standing room under the balcony and the sound is very muffled. :-\

Brewski:
Generally I'm in the "higher is better" camp.  Certainly at Carnegie Hall, the sound is generally better higher up (and yes, not under any overhangs).  For an orchestral concert, I also like sitting where I can see all the musicians, not just the first row of those closest to the front.  (You miss out on all the great percussion action that way!)

But that said, sometimes I do enjoy sitting downstairs, on the main floor level, such as at the Met.  There is nothing like seeing the Met's huge stage stretching across your field of vision, when it's a great production with a great cast.  The last things I saw downstairs were Jenufa and Eugene Onegin and I was enthralled.  That said, I did see both of the upstairs as well, to get the benefit of the better sound. 

Then you have places designed recently like Walt Disney Concert Hall, where the sound is pretty much great anywhere in the house (at least, in the spots I've sat in).  But it is also a different layout, a so-called "vineyard" design, in which the stage is closer to the middle of the room, with seats on all sides.

--Bruce

Maciek:
My thoughts are similar to yours - I usually like the high places best, though sometimes I want to be closer to see the musicians better. In smaller halls I usually choose places more or less towards the center of the hall. And yes - those overhanging balconies can be very treacherous, I try to avoid them at all costs!

Maciek

Sergeant Rock:

--- Quote from: bhodges on April 17, 2007, 12:48:42 PM ---Generally I'm in the "higher is better" camp.  Certainly at Carnegie Hall, the sound is generally better higher up (and yes, not under any overhangs).  For an orchestral concert, I also like sitting where I can see all the musicians, not just the first row of those closest to the front.  (You miss out on all the great percussion action that way!)

But that said, sometimes I do enjoy sitting downstairs, on the main floor level, such as at the Met.  There is nothing like seeing the Met's huge stage stretching across your field of vision, when it's a great production with a great cast.  The last things I saw downstairs were Jenufa and Eugene Onegin and I was enthralled.  That said, I did see both of the upstairs as well, to get the benefit of the better sound. 

Then you have places designed recently like Walt Disney Concert Hall, where the sound is pretty much great anywhere in the house (at least, in the spots I've sat in).  But it is also a different layout, a so-called "vineyard" design, in which the stage is closer to the middle of the room, with seats on all sides.

--Bruce

--- End quote ---

I like first row middle balcony; Mrs. Rock likes first row floor.

Edit: When Hélène Grimaud is playing, I like to sit at her feet  ;D

Sarge

hornteacher:
I'm severely acrophobic so I like ground floor center isle about 12 rows back.

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