As the 2011/12 season of opera comes to a close (yes, there's only a matter of weeks left!), my attention is turning to the 2012/13 season in earnest. Today I booked my first performances in the new Royal Opera season as Friends booking opened. In addition to Wagner's Ring Cycle, which I booked last year, I've nabbed my tickets for L'elisir d'amore (November), Robert le diable (December) and The Minotaur (January). Going to the opera regularly can be an expensive affair if you let it be, and considering i'm far from being a wealthy man I've decided that for this season any tickets I buy will be the cheapest in the house (or close enough to). Today's bill for three operas came to a very reasonable £20, with tickets to The Minotaur coming in at just £4 (I could have gone for a £3 option, but thought i'd treat myself). Even my Ring Cycle tickets only set me back a very respectable £14, thanks to a incredibly generous gift certificate from colleagues at work. So for 2012/13 the theme is austerity opera. Or rather how to indulge in a passion and keep the bank manager happy!