Opera 101: What to Expect
Helpful tips to enjoy the show
If you will be joining us for the first time, we recommend you attend one of our free previews which take place one hour prior to every show. Our expert music staff member will take you on an insightful exploration of the work you are about to experience. Here are a few etiquette tips to help you enjoy your first performance.
The free previews take place one hour prior to the performance. If you opt not to attend, we recommend you arrive about 30 minutes prior to the performance to allow for parking and picking up your tickets (if they weren’t mailed to you). If you are picking up your tickets at will call, head to the front of the theater where the Ticket Kiosk is located. Free programs are available at the Audience Services desk at the front of the theater.
Entering the Theater
The theater doors open about 30 to 40 minutes prior to the performance. Our friendly ushers will greet you, take your ticket and help you to your seat in the Alice Busch Opera Theater.
Most operas have an intermission. This is an opportunity for you to stretch your legs and grab a beverage from our concession stands. More than likely, our stage crew is working furiously behind the curtain to change the scenery for the next act.
It is common for audience members to applaud at the end of the overture or after an aria. Performers will often come out in front of the curtain after a production to take their bows. If you appreciated the performance, applause is encouraged at this time. Another tidbit: “Bravo” is exclaimed in appreciation of a male performer, “brava” for a female and “bravi” for an ensemble.