The first rule of Bravo Club is…
You must be under 40 at the beginning of the opera season. Okay, so that’s different from the first rule of Fight Club. But there is one similarity between the two – the first rule is the only rule.
I’ve been a member of Seattle Opera’s Bravo Club for years, but this is my last season. Next fall, I will be a rule-breaker; the club’s metaphorical doors will be closed to me, and I am heartbroken.
You see, Bravo Club members get season tickets for less than the cost of two individual tickets.
That discount made the difference between my seeing a few operas over the years and being a regular subscriber. Opera’s fan base tends to be older, for reasons both financial and cultural, and Seattle Opera has worked hard to make itself attractive and accessible to a younger audience, through special events like their Madama Butterfly simulcast and through social media engagement. But Bravo Club, with its huge discount for season ticket holders under age 40, is the biggest draw.
I never really explored the rest of the Bravo Club benefits until I realized my time was running out. I appreciated my discount, but had no interest in the social activities associated with the club.
My introvert’s fear of talking to strangers kept me out of the special intermission receptions until my inner college student’s love of free stuff finally drove me through the curtains in search of a glass of wine. And it was fine. My fears of a fine arts meat market were ungrounded. My friend described the low-key event as “nerdy hipster.” And did I mention the wine was free? Another win for Bravo Club.
I still haven’t made it to any of Bravo Club’s other activities, like the Halloween party or the monthly happy hours that include live performances, but only because of scheduling conflicts. I hope I get to go before I age out, but even if I don’t, Bravo Club has already more than paid for itself.
If you are under 40 and have any interest in exploring opera at all, you owe it to yourself to check out the Bravo Club. Where else are you going to get access to Laser Handel?