Teatro Colon and insane ticket prices


Mar 25, 2007
Awhile ago someone asked about getting tickets for the Teatro Colon this season when the theatre opens after extensive renovations.

The Colon is a municipally owned and run theatre heavily subsidized by the government. Despite this, ticket prices have soared. There will be six opera productions this year. Here is a sampling of prices for subscription tickets for this season. Keep in mind that there are six performances per subscription ticket.

Each opera gets several performances which are divided into categories...Gran Abono, Nocturno and Vespertino.

The subscription prices I am quoting include a 10% discount which is no longer available, so add 10%

Subscriptions for the Gran Abono in orchestra stalls, rows 1 through 14, are $5,292 pesos. Rows 15 through 22 are $4,752 pesos
Subscriptions for the Vespertino, the cheapest subscription, are $3,321 pesos and $3,024 respectively for the same seats as above. Add 10%

Individual tickets, when available, are likely to cost more than the subscription price divided by 6 however let´s calculate based on dividing by six...Most expensive of the above...$882 pesos per single ticket....Cheapest of above $504 pesos per ticket. Add 10%

In US dollar terms...$228 USD and $130 USD. Add 10%

Now compare that with what I actually paid at the Metropolitan Opera in December and January...many opera lovers consider it the best opera company in the world. Totally dependent on ticket sales and private contributions, virtually no subsidies....

Monday evening performance, orchestra rear $80 USD
Saturday performance, prime orchestra...peak time, highest price.... $175 USD
Monday evening performance using rush tickets. Thanks to the generosity of a benefactor, there are something like 200 of the best seats in the house sold on a first come basis the same day as the performance for $20 USD. I had prime orchestra.

Yes, there are cheaper tickets at the Colon but keep in mind that the Colon is a HUGE theatre with many extremely poor visibility areas. The Metropolitan Opera has more seating however the house has fewer partial views. Keep in mind too the gap in salaries between the US and Argentina. Hard to understand where all the subsidy money goes. The last I heard, the Colon receives the lion´s share of government subsidies though that may have changed under the Kiurchners I don´t know.
Well maybe the Met has rock bottom prices because of the crisis? Opera is always expensive. In 2002 we paid 225 British pounds a ticket to go to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

From what you're saying, the prices here in BA have actually just gone up accordingly with everything else in town. Even five years ago a good ticket was 400 pesos, and you could only get those if you had a DNI, otherwise for foreigners the prices were even higher.

The subsidies all go into the renos and the pockets of the important people, lol. None of it goes to actually subsidizing the cost of the tickets!
Government subsidies? I thought it was supported by the city and I've been bad-mouthing Macri for the situation all this time. As for ticket prices, I was never lucky enough to go to a performance before it closed for renovations but my gut feeling is that in those days prices were way lower than you are quoting. I wonder if these prices reflect that the great and the good are willing to pay to be seen during the opening season, and then the prices will sink back to normal levels in later years. For the record, I was paying between AR$170-250 for good orchestra seats at Teatro Avenida for Lirica and Juventus Lirica performances over the past couple of seasons and I would have felt comfortable about paying around twice that much for the same at Teatro Colón.
The Colon is part of the government of Macri

That begin said, those kind of prices in Argentina assures you actually get the crowd you want for your opera
Yes, prices at Covent Garden are higher than the Metropolitan Opera. The high value of the pound has a lot to do with that. No, the Metropolitan Opera has not lowered prices due to the crisis. The $20 tickets were made available by a generous benefactor. I wish we had the same here. I´ve been regularly attending the Colon for 15 years and I have observed the evolution of ticket prices. They were never cheap however they never reached such astronomical prices. Try to remember that Argentines do not usually earn dollars, pounds or euros. Even my relatively affluent Argentine friends who attend Colon performances are shocked.

As someone posted, a few years ago the Colon charged non residents double the normal price. They did not offer a discount to residents as the theatre management pretended. They just charged double to non residents. Inside sources at the Colon told me that the policy was a failure. Ticket sales plummeted. The 400 peso tickets that someone mentioned here would have been only for the Gran Abono. Other performances, such as Vespertino and Extraordinarias, would hve been less than half that or double for non'residents. It´s impossible to say how the new pricing will work out. Policies here can change at the drop of a hat. The Colon plays musical chairs with its directors, all of whom are political appointments. There is no stability and no serious long term planning.

Yes, the theatre is municipally owned and under Macri´s control. Macri has apparently greatly reduced the staff and has put pressure on the theatre to reduce costs. Culture is not one of the mayor´s strong points. My understanding is that a large part of the subsidy comes from the federal government as well as the city but I need clarification on this. As much as Macri would like, he can not easily close the institution down. The opera, despite its short season and difficulty attracting international singers due to the devalued peso, remains the country´s preeminent cultural institution. Admittedly, those who are interested are a very tiny percentage of the population.
The Colon had superb acoustics before the renovation. Orchestra seats are very expensive, but Cazuela and Tertulia center seats are very good, and cheaper. Paraiso is still cheaper, but too high up to see well.
SaraSara said:
The Colon had superb acoustics before the renovation. Orchestra seats are very expensive, but Cazuela and Tertulia center seats are very good, and cheaper. Paraiso is still cheaper, but too high up to see well.

An Argentine friend of mine told me that they skimped on the budget, and did not have an acoustics specialist help with the renovations for the theater.
I was afraid something like that would happen. What a shame - in my opinion, the Colon had better acoustics than the Met and the Kennedy Center Opera house.

Although I hear that the Met has been greatly improved - I haven't been there for about twelve years.
The Colon had superb acoustics. I don´t know that it´s true that the renovations have adversely affected the sound. We´ll find out when it reopens. The Metropolitan Opera has very good acoustics.