As single-ticket sales begin this month, Sonoma State University's inaugural concert series at the Green Music Center already has sold about 12,000 subscription tickets, or 31 percent of the estimated 38,000 tickets available.
"That's a very strong opening for a new venue that has only been in subscription sales until just recently," said Jessica Anderson, marketing manager of the Green Music Center.
Since the performance series kicked off its subscription drive in March, a couple of concerts have already sold out. In early April, the January 2013 performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott sold out. In early June, the March 2013 concert featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis sold out.
Indoor seats for the grand opening concert featuring Chinese pianist Lang Lang on Sept. 29 sold out in April. However, outdoor seats at tables and on the lawn are still available.
Since both the Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Ma concerts are part of subscription packages, those two subscription series are now closed. However, the Concert Classics "B" series and both of the Vocal Arts series still have tickets available through the box office.
Online, subscribers can reserve a "Choose Your Own Series" package, allowing patrons to select four concerts from any of the packages, with a 10 percent discount.
"We had a lot of people mixing and matching," Anderson said. "A lot of people have more eclectic taste, and they want to see a diversity of shows."
The concert series will be held in Weill Hall, a 1,4000-seat performance hall modeled after Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood Music Center in western Massachusetts.
In honor of its lead sponsor, the university's 2012-2013 season of 20 concerts has been named the MasterCard Performance Series. Tickets to individual concerts of the MasterCard Performance Series went on sale to subscribers and donors on July 1. Single tickets were made available to MasterCard credit card holders on July 18. The general public can purchase single tickets on July 29.
The total number of seats inside the hall is 1,406, Anderson said. There are 1,648 seats at outdoor tables and an additional 2,700 seats on the Weill Lawn.
The hall, which opens up in back, is named after arts philanthropists Joan and Sandy Weill, who donated $12 million last year to complete the $120 million center.
Based on interest expressed by patrons at the box office, the university expects single tickets to the Sept. 30 concert of Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas to sell briskly.
"We are expecting that to be a sold-out show," Anderson said. "It seems to be a popular show for this demographic, and there's a lot of excitement building for that weekend."
So far this year, revenues from the Santa Rosa Symphony's subscription drive are up. The Classical Series presents seven concert programs three times each, for a total of 21 concerts.
"Subscriptions are the heart of our audience," said Alan Silow, executive director of the Santa Rosa Symphony. "We are at a record 46 percent ahead of last year in terms of subscription revenues."
The Orchestral Opening Concert, a special Santa Rosa Symphony concert held during the opening weekend on Sept. 30, has sold out all of its indoor seats. Single tickets for the outdoor tables and the lawn are still available.