Students can purchase $50 tickets to attend the final dress rehearsal of Barrie Kosky’s sold out opera production.

Adelaide Festival has announced that students will have a very special opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal of Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Saul, with specially discounted tickets on sale from noon today. The centrepiece of the 2017 season, Saul has been sold out since December of last year. Students will therefore get a highly exclusive sneak peek at the production, with tickets costing just $50, a saving of up to 70 percent.

Benjamin Hulett in Saul at Glyndebourne Festival. Photo © Bill Cooper

This news comes a week after joint Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy announced the return of the Festival’s 18 and Under Rush Tickets Scheme, which allows teens to see selected shows for as little as $5.

According to Healy, the decision to open up the dress rehearsal for Saul is in line with their long-term plan to encourage more young audiences to attend the Festival.

“As a student, attending any final dress rehearsal is a thrilling behind-the-scenes experience, but the chance to see Saul before its sold out Australian season is a genuine ‘run-don’t-walk’ opportunity for students of every age and background. It really is an experience for everyone: sumptuous sets and costumes, a gripping narrative and sublime music,” she said.

“This opportunity is one more part of the Festival’s commitment to students; we want to ensure that price is no barrier to coming along and experiencing the greatest works the Festival has to offer.”

The provocative Australian director Barrie Kosky first brought his production of Handel’s oratorio to the Glyndebourne stage in 2015, where it was hailed by Limelight as “a triumph…nearly every aspect of his creative vision grabs audience attention”.

With rave reviews for the production across the board, all four Festival performances were sold out by last December. It has proven a big draw for interstate and overseas audiences, with more than 40 percent of tickets purchased by people outside South Australia. In fact, Adelaide Festival has recently announced that just seven days from its opening weekend, it has achieved its highest sales on record, making $3 million at the box office and surpassing its previous record of $2.5 million in 2010.