Hey all. So I will be visiting Vancouver soon to attend a pair of special shows put on by the VSO. The Lord of the Rings Symphony, and Play! A Video Game Symphony. I've never been to the Orpheum, so I'm looking for some advice as to where to get seats. I'm willing to pay the maximum amount, so should I be getting seats as close to the front as possible? Are the sight lines and acoustics just as good, or better from the upper balcony at a similar price?
The first time i went to the Orpheum, i figured the dress circle row 3 [aka the first few rows of the upper balcony] would be decent, since it extends to about the 10th-12th row of the orchestra seats. But it wasn't and unlike the next few i went to, everyone decided to stand so it was harder to see.
The next time i went, i got front row Dress circle because the closest i could get in orchestra was like the 20th row. But still i sort of felt detached - I could see everyone/thing on stage including all the roadees but still a little far for my liking. However, these were all concerts mind you, not really a symphony so its a bit different.
The last time i went, i said screw it, and got 3rd row seats in the Orchestra. A much better decision. If another concert were there, i'd definitely only buy Orchestra, even if i pay a bit more on Craigslist or something.
I don't know about your show, but concert tickets didn't vary from orchestra to upper balcony, so really the closer the better if you are paying the same price. Sound wise, i thought it was consistent in the various areas that i sat. The only area i never sat at is upper balcony - and since i thought the dress circle was lacking, i don't think i would recommend the upper balcony.
My dad used to be the assistant principal cellist for the VSO before we moved to Texas, so I had the pleasure of going to the Orpheum pretty often. Always tried to go for the seats that were along the middle in order to get a balance of sound from both sides of the orchestra. Because of the theater's great acoustics, the balcony is also a great option as well, and sometimes the sound is even better from above (especially if a piano is being featured). I usually didn't like sitting in the very first row because it felt like some of the sound traveled "over" or "around" you, which is why I've always preferred sitting a few rows behind the very front.
1) Stay towards the center.
2) A few rows from the front is a good choice, especially since you're close to the action (unfortunately, you'll also be able to see the plethora of musicians that are actually "ghosting", and not playing )
3) The front of the balcony is fantastic.