What to expect at the Opera!
Are you unsure about how to act, what to wear or what you’re going to see at the
Opera? You’re not the only one! Many people are nervous about their first trip to
the opera. Read the truth behind some popular opera myths and see if they
answer your questions:
MYTH #1 OPERA IS BORING AND STUFFY
Not true! Operas tell some of the most interesting, scandalous, and
beautiful stories of all time. It is not unusual to find love triangles,
murders, fatal illnesses, and messages from beyond the grave. It’s
like Days of Our Lives set to music!
MYTH #2 OPERA IS SUNG IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE SO I WON’T
UNDERSTAND THE STORY
We can help! It’s true - many operas, like Cinderella, are sung in
languages other than English. Since most people in our audience do
not speak Italian, we project English translations, called subtitles, on
screen above the stage. So you can follow along even if you do not
understand the language. You can also read the synopsis of the opera
listed in the program. Knowing the story will also help you follow
MYTH #3 I NEED TO WEAR A TUXEDO OR A BALL GOWN TO THE OPERA
While many people like to dress up when they go to the opera, it is
definitely not required. Wear something that makes you feel
comfortable, but remember that it is a special event and you may want
to wear something a little nicer than ripped jeans and a sweatshirt!
MYTH #4 THE OPERA IS SO LONG, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF I’M LATE &
MISS THE FIRST FEW MINUTES
You don’t want to miss the beginning! At most opera houses, the
ushers will not seat you if you arrive after the opera has begun, as it is
disturbing to the rest of the audience and the performers. If you arrive
late, you may need to wait until after the first act before you can enter
the hall. And a lot happens in the first act!
A FEW MORE TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR OPERA EXPERIENCE:
Remember: the opera is a live performance. You can hear the performers on
stage and that means they can hear you too! Please refrain from talking or
whispering during the opera. It is distracting to others around you as well as to
the singers. Please do not leave your seat during the performance.
Please turn off all cell phones, pagers, watches and anything else that may go
“beep” in the night!
Please do not take photographs, videos or audio recordings of the performance.
After the orchestra has tuned, the auditorium will become quiet. The conductor,
or maestro, will then enter the pit. It is acceptable (and appreciated) to applaud
the maestro’s entrance. After all, he/she worked very hard to bring this
performance to life!
If you like what you have seen and heard, let the performers know! It is okay to
applaud at the end of songs, called arias, and at the end of a scene. If you really
liked what you heard, call out “bravo” (to the men on stage), “brava” (to the
women) and “bravi” (for all on stage). And of course, a standing ovation is