Hidden, buried, well out of sight (at least I had the hardest time finding it on their Web site, despite knowing what I was looking for) the Kennedy Center actually offers the kind of Student-Ticket program we'd want them to. It is called ATTEND!, and every ticket is $10 (ten!) dollars. The legalese is refreshingly short and painless:
To purchase, just bring your student ID to the Kennedy Center Box Office, ask for your "ATTEND DISCOUNT," mention promotion code 12488, and give the name of your college. Limit 2 tickets per student (for 2nd ticket, you must show other person's student ID). Sorry, these discounts are currently not available online.For students out there, that program is a treasure trove - but there is a reason I mention it today. Included in this program is tomorrow's performance of Parsifal! [Edit: Subsequent review here] That is of course an insane bargain that really ought not to be missed. I used to say that Parsifal is the most unlikely opera to start one's Wagner experience with, and I maintain that it's probably not ideal. It was the first Wagner opera I saw live, and it was a daunting experience where I felt like a lobster thrown head first into boiling musical water. If that doesn't sound enticing, let me put it another way:
Seeing Parsifal is going to be a seminal experience for you, regardless of whether you liked it or not! Few things or events come your way that will serve as memories for a lifetime - your first Parsifal is one of these. Some of the best things in life tend not to come 'easy', are not always convenient (like making the perfect Vitello tonnato, or love, or climbing a mountain...), but they offer unique rewards. Sitting through five hours of any music is daunting... Wagner's even more so. Glorious as the music is - instantly glorious to some - it may not be comprehensible upon first hearing. No matter: all it takes is a little willingness and an open mind; the understanding that ecstasy is a much slower, tougher joy than the fleeting tickles of lust and fancy. Swamp the opera house with yourself and your student friends. Leave changed forever.