Know Before You Go
Learn the ins and outs of going to the Opera, from "What should I wear?" to "What if I'm late?"
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: OPERA COURTESIES
What if I’m late?
In order not to disturb the performers or the audience, we will seat you in the theater as soon as possible during a pause in the performance.
What should I wear to the opera?
The opera is the one special place where you can really dress up and be glamorous, but don’t feel you have to break the bank. Cocktail dress or flattering “dressy” attire is usually the norm for evening performances, while Sunday matinees generally see more casual sport jackets and dresses.
Should I wear perfume?
We ask that you avoid the use of perfumes, colognes or other strong scents that could disturb other patrons.
How will I understand what people are singing?
English translations of the lyrics (surtitles) are projected on a screen above the stage as they are sung. Also a full synopsis of the opera is provided online for each performance and in the evening’s program.
Can I bring kids?
Generally, opera is better suited to older kids because the stories often contain adult themes and following the surtitles can be difficult for new readers. Sometimes Arizona Opera offers operas sung in English (such the productions of The Merry Widow and Hansel & Gretel) that are more kid-friendly. When bringing a child to the opera, it is helpful to explain the story in advance and instruct them on proper audience behavior. Arizona Opera's Student Night at the Opera may be better suited for entire families. These rehearsals are a good way to ease children into enjoyment of a full-fledged production.
How long does the opera last?
Running times vary per opera, but many clock in between 2 - 3 hours in length, like most Broadway musicals.
Is there intermission?
This varies with every opera! Many times, there is at least one intermission, but this is not always the case. We send out performance reminder emails before each show with this information. Make sure you're on our email list!
When should I clap?
At the end of big arias and, of course, at the final curtain call. Feel free to shout out “Bravo!” (for a male performer), “Brava!” (for a woman) or “Bravi!” (for an ensemble) – singers love an appreciative audience!
Anything else I should know?
Please remain quiet from the time the orchestra starts (the overture is part of the opera, too!) so that everyone around you can enjoy the music. Don’t open candy or gum wrappers, talk, use your cell phone or pager during the performance. Be sure to turn off your watch alarm and phone when you enter the theater.