Subscribers received a letter from artistic director Terrance Orr, giving them the chance to invite up to two friends to attend Carmen with them as a "special subscriber ticket offer."
The offer seems to indicate that ticket sales for the production are falling short of expectations, although company spokesperson Ida D'Errico said that was not the case. She told the Post-Gazette that the tickets were intended to be a thank you for loyal subscribers.
The company is in the midst of trying to eliminate a $1 million debt. In early August, the company announced that its 2005-06 season would take place without live music, a move that will save around $551,000. The switch to recorded music angered the company's pit orchestra and prompted a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board.
Orchestra members plan to picket the all the performances of Carmen.