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Royal Opera House chief labels Viagogo ‘outrageous’

The Royal Opera House chief has called Viagogo an “outrageous operation” as tickets to see Verdi’s opera La forza del destino are listed on the site for up to £3,500 ($4,500/€3,100) each.

A mere 100 seats, or eight per cent of the allocation, have been put on general sale for each of the four shows, in which Russian soprano Anna Netrebko and German tenor Jonas Kaufmann are performing together for these nights of the opera’s 10-night run.

The other 2,000-plus passes were sold to ROH members, who pay up to £2,000 a year for the privilege of advanced tickets. A further 70 will go on sale in March for the venue’s ‘Friday Rush’.

In a statement, the Royal Opera House has said it prohibits any use of re-sale sites.

However, Viagogo is still offering 61 tickets at huge markups with a ticket in the stalls selling for £3,438. A restricted-view seat, which is actually only worth £125 at face value, is going for £1,876.

Alex Beard, Royal Opera House chief executive, said: “I think they are an absolutely outrageous operation,” adding that anyone discovered using a ticket from Viagogo risked being turned away.

He continued: “The Royal Opera House have consistently argued against the harmful practices of ticket re-sellers such as Viagogo, who violate the terms of our service and, most worryingly, undermine the customer putting profit before consumer experience.”

Image: Craig Morey