Opera for a Song: Lincoln Center’s Deals


Lincoln Center is the epicenter of classical music and opera in New York, but the tickets can be prohibitively expensive for city boomers on fixed income. However, once again, if you have some time and stamina and a little bit of luck, bargain tickets can be had to even the hottest performances. You just need to know where to look.


You can catch Metropolitan Opera performances on public radio and watch on HD in movie theaters, but nothing beats actually sitting under that gilded ceiling and hearing the music live. And the music is even sweeter if you are in the $200 seats with a $25 rush ticket!

Rush TicketsUpdated 1-14-15. Rush tickets are no longer available at the box office or by phone. The only way to get them now, for seniors and everyone else alike, is to get them online following these guidelines:

•$25 Rush Tickets are offered daily online on the Met website. The tickets, in prime seating locations, are available on a first-come, first-served basis for all performances, excepting the Opening Night and New Year’s Eve galas. Rush Tickets are no longer available at the Box Office or over the phone.
•Customers are only allowed to purchase up to two tickets to one performance every seven days. Some exclusions apply.
•Tickets will go on sale for performances Monday through Friday at noon, for matinees four (4) hours before curtain, and for Saturday evenings at 2 pm.

You need to sign up and register on the Met Opera site before you can purchase rush tickets. The rush tickets sell out almost instantly at 12 noon, so you need to be ready and quick to pounce.

Standing Room Tickets go on sale at 10 am on the day of the performance. For more information please call 212-362-6000.

$25 Orchestra Standing Room Tickets, Monday – Saturday evenings: May be purchased at the box office, by phone and online.  Saturday Matinees: May be purchased at the box office or by phone

$17 Family Circle Standing Room Tickets  Monday – Friday: May be purchased when Family Circle seating is sold out, at the box office, by phone and online.  Saturday Matinees: May be purchased at the box office or by phone.

Updated 11-6-14: Recently Metropolitan Opera tickets have been showing up on Amazon Local daily deals site.  Today there are orchestra seats available to The Barber of Seville for $95 – still pricy, but 67% discount off regular price. Sign up for Amazon Local and keep your eye out for more opera deals.


Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic,  is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and the 3rd oldest in the world. The orchestra’s home is Lincoln Center‘s Avery Fisher Hall, so us city boomers have a home court advantage for tickets.

The best deal for Philharmonic tickets is to attend their Open Rehearsals at the Avery Fisher Hall. Rehearsals run from 9:45 a.m. until approximately 12:30 p.m. and tickets cost $20 and can be purchased online, by phone or in person. (For phone and online orders add $2 to the ticket price.)

If you are a very serious music lover, you may consider volunteering at the Philharmonic. Volunteers must donate at least $100 annually, but they have access to free tickets to some events.


JuilliardJuilliard presents approximately 700 performances each year, with both free and paid admission.  All student recitals are free, and no tickets are required. Since Juilliard is one of the world’s most acclaimed music education programs, even its student recitals offer very high level performances.

Many free performances, however, do require tickets, which are available ONLINE ONLY at events.juilliard.edu. The Box Office does not distribute free tickets in person, except for concerts in Alice Tully Hall.

For anyone without online access, there is also a ticket kiosk in the Juilliard lobby for use anytime the School is open.

The Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office (Juilliard Box Office) is located on street level just inside the School’s main entrance at 155 W. 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.



Author My First Apartment
Seija Goldstein

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Seija Goldstein has lived in New York City for 40 years and has no intention of ever leaving. After working full time in media and raising two wonderful children, she is now planning to sample everything that her favorite city has to offer. She will be reporting her experiences on this blog and inviting other New York City Boomers to join in the adventure.

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  1. Seija Goldstein Seija Goldstein

    I am very excited to tell that the online Rush Ticket offer works. After trying to get rush tickets several times without success, I was lucky today and got 2 orchestra tickets to La Traviata at $25 each. Only in New York!