Though I have been in standing room at Seattle Opera for at least 9 performances, I never quite figured out how their system works. This is partially because standing room is never full, and partially because I let my erstwhile Seattle Opera companion, the Opernphrenologe, take charge, as she was living in Seattle up until fairly recently.
Since the Opernphrenologe moved to Germany earlier this year, I wrote a missive to Seattle Opera to explain their Standing Room Policy, which they promptly answered. I posted what I found relevant on my page on "Standing Room, Rush, and Other Last-Minute Ticket Options for Various Opera Houses," but I missed something quite essential. The ticket office is not in the opera house. It is not even particularly close to the opera house, in fact. Now it is much more clear to me why the lease of Mercer Arena, which will bring all of Seattle Opera's operations under one roof, is such news.
Yesterday, my plan was to take the bus to Downtown Seattle from the airport and then just walk over to Seattle Center, where McCaw Hall (Seattle Opera's house) is. It is easy to navigate because one only needs to head toward the Space Needle. Unfortunately, I was not able to get on the 194 bus, as it was completely full and had to wait 20 minutes for the next one. I had put away my protective noise-canceling headphones as I had run out of podcasts. I had thought it would be nicer, when buying my bus ticket, to actually be able to hear. It is interesting what one misses when insulated by such headphones. For instance, as I walked through Seattle Center, an individual growled at me, which I ignored. He went follow me for a bit, and said something that implied that I did not speak English, but I was too much in a hurry to correct him. I guess a person in loose workout clothes, clutching a copy of The Brothers Karamazov, and dragging around fancy German luggage is simply asking to be harassed.
At any rate, I got to the opera house just 10 minutes after the ticket office opens. However, McCaw Hall looked distinctly closed, and I knew something must be wrong. Thankfully, I was able to look at the Seattle Opera Web site from my mobile phone. The ticket office is at 1020 John Street, a mile away from the opera house, tucked under a parking lot. I was most amused by their apt explanation of how to find the office: "Look for the orange Seattle Opera billboard next to the 13 Coins Restaurant parking lot. There is rooftop visitor parking to the right of the billboard; Seattle Opera's Ticket Office is one level below this lot." I did eventually find my way, and got to the ticket office by 12:30. Of course, it didn't actually matter, standing room had less than 6 people. I learnt latter that tickets are actually also available by phone at (206) 389-7676 or (1-800) 426-1619.
Boren Avenue at John Street:
The Orange Sign (Note how the street ends.):
The Parking Lot: