Some will be rightly squeamish about what took place. Booing is nasty and cruel. In Germany, it comes freighted with a dark history, too. It is particularly devastating for singers, who are doing their best, often in difficult circumstances. But Castorf seemed to revel in it, almost as if the audience verdict was a badge of honour or a vindication. He stood on the stage for more than 10 minutes, mocking his detractors with a thumbs up, ironic applause and dismissive waves. Castorf's response enraged the audience even more. There is no way to know who would have won this battle of wills had not Petrenko diffidently put his head around the curtain to remind Castorf that the orchestra still had to take its traditional end-of-cycle bow. (The orchestra was cheered to the heavens.)
So, I'll take it as read that the real reason anyone would join a membership scheme is for the altruistic warm fuzzy feeling of supporting the arts. But lets look at the other advantages ...
I've been a member of the Barbican for a few years, it's a good value scheme: as well as priority booking you get a 20% discount on tickets for most theatre (exception is for the odd very hot ticket or external production - eg no discount on the RSC shows), most contemporary music events, and the cinemas. No discounts on classical events for reasons that are not clear to anyone. Also free entry to the gallery (normally £12 I think, 2 or three exhibitions a year). Plus a 15% discount in the cafes and bars.
One thing to watch is that discounts are limited - so after a while you may find there are no discounted seats left for your membership level. Quite unusual for this to happen, and it won't if you book early.
I'm an orange member - the middle level at £40 per year. Red membership is £100 and gets you a longer priority booking period, other benefits pretty much the same.
Oh I think I worked with someone called Angie Dickinson years ago, so thanks for pointing out my error.
Nothing gets past your forum people does it!
I was genuinely intrigued as I wondered if Sandra Dickinson had her own understudy! She was something of a celeb back in the day so its surprising to see her being an understudy. Actually I'd be interested to see her as Madame Arcati!