The Green Music Center has announced its 2012–2013 season, and the lineup is impressive—Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, Alison Krauss, Wynton Marsalis, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Barbara Cook, Michael Tilson Thomas and many others. Individual tickets go on sale in July, but on March 25, series and subscription tickets are offered. There are a lot of options, and Lang Lang and Yo-Yo Ma are "Special Events" that are available only with a series purchase and require an extra ticket. That sounds expensive on the surface, but there are ways to do it that make sense.
Let's say you only want to see Lang Lang—and don't want to sit out on the lawn—and you want to do it as cheaply as possible. On March 25, you'd buy "Choral Circle" stage seating for the minimum four "Price Level B" shows from the Choose-Your-Own-Series at $18 each, totaling $72. Then you'd add an extra ticket to Lang Lang, starting at $55 for either side balcony or stage seating.
That's a $127 total to see Lang Lang, but it also means you get stage seating for—and these would be my picks—John Adams, Chucho Valdés, Wynton Marsalis and Lila Downs. Divided by five, that's about $25 per show. (Also, students get a 50 percent discount on tickets.) Stage seating is great—it's close to the performer, it provides a view of the audience, and, with the acoustics in the Green Music Center being what they are, it still sounds great. See www.gmc.sonoma.edu for more.—Gabe Meline