New to Opera

A scene from Act II of Austin Opera’s production of La bohème, April 2019.

What should I wear?

We want you to be comfortable! Feel free to show off your individual style. A night at the opera offers a wonderful opportunity to dress to the nines if you like. Coming after work? Your business attire is perfect. Can’t part with that pair of old jeans? Keep them—and your sneakers—on.

There is no dress code at Austin Opera. Just enjoy!

What do I need to know?

You can come as prepared as you’d like. The story is meant to develop on stage, so there is no need for extensive background knowledge. For those who like to come prepared, Austin Opera offers pre-show resources for each production, typically offered online for free.

Wanna dig deep before you come? You can read up on opera here:
A-Z of Opera – Naxos
Wikipedia entry on opera: click your way through operatic history from Baroque to now.

But I don’t speak Italian, French, or German?

No problem! Every performance features supertitles (English translations of what’s sung, projected above the stage), visible from every seat except the very very first few in front of the stage. You can also read a short synopsis of the opera on our website or in the printed program before the performance. This will help you follow the story.

Austin Opera also offers several opera preview events as well as digital offerings to take in before you arrive. Enhance your experience and geek out! Or just allow the music to carry you away.

When should I arrive?

All evening performances start at 7:30 PM and the matinee performance starts at 2:30 PM. Please arrive early as there is often traffic and we do our best to begin all performances on time. Long Center concessions open with plenty of time to enjoy a snack or a beverage before the show. Plus, Austin Opera often has planned pre-show activities to compliment your special evening out!

If you arrive late, you will not be allowed in the theater right away, but you can watch the performance on high-definition monitors located throughout the lobbies. Some performances—but not all—may have designated pauses, in which late arrivals can be seated at the discretion of the Long Center’s House Manager. We recommend that you wait close to your seating area’s entrance so that we can seat you as soon as possible if there is a pause. Ushers will be there to assist you regardless.

Warning chimes are sounded pre-performance and intermission prior to curtain. Please note that audience members who leave the auditorium during a performance will not be readmitted until intermission.

How long does an opera last?

Performances can last anywhere between 75 minutes and 4 hours. The running time often includes one or two intermissions, depending on the number of acts in the opera. Our website will always list the approximate running time and our box office will be able tell you as well.

How do I buy tickets?

You can buy tickets to the opera right here on this website or via phone (512.472.5992). You can also email [email protected] and ask for assistance.

On the day of the performance, you can purchase in-person at the Long Center 3M Box Office starting two hours before the performance (701 West Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas 78704).