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Subject: Risky business
From: Hans Christian Hoff <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Hans Christian Hoff <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 10 May 2017 23:45:54 +0200
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Living as I do in the outskirts of the civilized world and in spite of 
this  being an opera afficionado can sometimes prove frustrating. I 
usually travel three or four times a year to important European theatres 
(mainly to Berlin, Munich, Vienna and London). The costs incurred by 
travel, accomodation and admission taxes the family budget of a retired 
couple to a degree that has proved difficult to defend, and to reduce 
them as much as possible it is advisable to book aforehand, something 
which is always necessary what tickets are concerned.  The costs more 
often than not are all non-refundable. Re-sale of tickets is at some 
stages possible, but not easy to accomplish.

When choosing the destination, the casting is a prime consideration. The 
disappointment and frustration caused by singer's cancellations are 
often devastating. Jonas Kaufmann has been the cause of many such 
frustrations; I have suffered substitutes of his in Munich both in Forza 
and Meistersinger (in that case also the announced substitute 
cancelled). The last disappointment was caused by an e-mail from the 
Vienna State Opera that tomorrow's Tosca (conducted by fellow Norwegian 
Eivind Gullberg-Jensen), arriving after I had finished packing my bag. 
Here it was announced that Jonas Kaufmann had for reasons of health 
cancelled his Cavaradossi (for which he got rave reviews after the first 
night), and will be replaced by Aleksandrs Antonenko. This added to the 
disappointment caused earlier by a message that Angela Gheorghiu had 
also cancelled; in her place Martina Serafin will be Tosca. I do however 
know that it was a gamble out of the ordinary to book a performance 
involving those two particular artists. The Scarpia, Marco Vratogna, I 
have heard earlier at la Scala; I hope he has improved.

It is a well established legal fact that neither the theatre nor the 
cancelling artists can be held economically responsible. I have also 
taken it for granted that I cannot take up insurance that covers my 
outlays (at least not at Norwegian insurers), but I wonder (just out of 
curiosity) if any on the list (among whom there certainly must be fellow 
sufferers) know if this is possible in other countries.

Yours

Hans

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