I’m Penny. I grew up reading European guidebooks bought from the markdown section of Borders and watching Joan Sutherland operas on laserdisc, because that’s the way I rolled in New England/New York (and no, I grew up with much more advanced technology than the laserdisc). I saw Puccini’s La Boheme one too many times and have been living in and exploring the better part of Europe on a bohemian budget ever since. I’m a freelance writer who specializes in travel and arts and culture, supplement my income as a copywriter by day, and have previously worked with a handful of arts institutions in the US and Europe (and still freelance with them when I can).
Your hostess with the mostest…unless you count her bank account.
To me, there’s something incredibly not right about music, art, theatre, and dance costing as much as it does. Artists are some of the poorest people out there! Do you think Van Gogh was tooling around with a $4,000 box at the opera? Mozart was so far in debt it became something of a joke, and yet you may have to choose between paying your rent and seeing a performance of Cosi fan Tutte. With arts organizations worldwide trying to get younger audiences, what exactly is the message here?
Fortunately, Europe (arguably the cradle of culture) has begun to get its act together. So while you still may have a relationship to the Euro or Pound something akin to being touched in an off-limits zone, you can still experience some of the most jaw-dropping forms of art without dropping a ton of cash. This blog will give tips from the insider’s perspective. You’ll find out where to go for the best deals on opera tickets, how to get into a museum for free, and how to do a night at the theatre for under $10.00, complete with pictures, websites, numbers, and extra background for those of you who want to fake knowing Borodin from Baryshnikov or Monet from Massenet.
I’ve written for GoBudget Travel, Brave New Traveler, EuroCheapo, Paper, Traveling Stories, the City University of New York, New York City Opera, and The Laputan. I have upcoming articles for NYCO’s Playbill, Classic FM Magazine, and a few others and am always working. I’m also a usual suspect on lonelyplanet.com.