A Budget-Friendly Guide to the Opera

So, you’ve acquired your student-discounted, Monday night opera tickets. Congratulations. Now you’re not just a broke college student: you’re an even more broke college student with opera tickets. And because your English-teaching job doesn’t start till next week, let’s explore some ways to save money during your trip to the opera.

  1. Dressing to impress (or at least to not be that tourist at the opera in jeans and a shirt.) Travel-stained dress that you’ve had for years and is still somewhat crumpled from your suitcase? Have you considered a scarf? (Of course you have a scarf, it is winter in Russia for goodness’ sake!) Wrap a wide scarf around your shoulders and voila! It’s now a classy wrap (or a stole, as my Indian host mom would call them.) You’re fancy.
  2. Bring snacks. While the theater has many snack bars on different floors so that none of the lines are too long, and you can actually get a snack during intermission, the prices of the food being sold there are flat-out highway robbery. So do what I saw a woman here do and pull out your Tupperware of sandwiches that you made at home and snuck in! (Feel free to substitute with chocolate, popcorn, a tea service, what have you.)
  3. Unless you are into keeping programs as souvenirs, do like my seatmate and just print out a description of the plot of the opera at home. Yes, the programs only (??) cost 30 roubles, but dammit, that’s how much your bus ride home is going to cost. Not worth it unless you actually, you know, care about who the singers are or something.
  4. Taking the bus home is a great way to economize! But be careful: don’t lose half of the only pair of earrings you brought to Russia while trying to chase down the elusive #6 bus. You won’t catch it, and you will get laughed at by Russians.

(In case anyone was wondering, I had a wonderful time at the opera last night, although I do not necessarily recommend going to a four-hour long opera on a school night.) 

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