Guide to the Opera

If you’re new to a certain performance, or just want to come prepared, it’s great to read a synopsis or attend the pre-performance lecture prior to the show. Also, we don’t expect you to learn a new language for the performance. All performances will have English supertitles projected above the stage so you can follow along. Read below for some more info about how you can make the most of your opera experience.

What to Wear

Many people like to dress up when they go to the opera—it’s considered part of the fun. Formal or semi-formal attire is always a great fit for a night at the Opera. Opera Omaha recommends that you dress to enjoy the evening. You can choose to dress up or dress down and you’ll see fellow opera-goers usually wearing business attire.

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When to Arrive

It is recommended to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to curtain time.

If you’re late the ushers will usually ask you to wait until after the overture or even after the first act! Opera Omaha provides live video in the lobby of the Orpheum Theater for patrons who arrive late or step out of the auditorium before the act break.

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When to Applaud

It is acceptable (and appreciated!) to applaud after an overture. Singers perform arias in the middle of scenes—some of which will be recognizable to you. Show your appreciation if it's done well. Customarily, applauding at the end of each scene is appreciated. If you are not sure if a time is appropriate for applause, just follow the lead of the rest of the audience.

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During the Opera

Out of respect for other opera-goers, please don’t whisper, talk, eat, or open candy wrappers. It’s also important to turn your cell phone and other electronic devices off. Please note that no photography or recording of any kind is permitted.

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About the Orchestra

The orchestra members enter the pit and tune their instruments before the show begins. When done, the instrumentalists become quiet. Next, the conductor enters the pit. It is acceptable (and appreciated!) for the audience to applaud the entry of the conductor. The conductor nods to the audience, faces the orchestra at his or her podium, and raises arms signaling the start of the overture.

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The House Staff and Ushers

The House Staff and volunteer ushers are there not only to assist you to your seats, but also to help you when any unusual situation or emergency arises. As a courtesy to your fellow patrons, please follow their instructions.

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