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New to Opera?

What should be my first opera?

One friend will tell you The Marriage of Figaro, another one will tell you Turandot,yet another friend will tell you The Rake’s Progress. The truth is, many operas are great “first operas.” Think about it, do you like The Beatles or The Stones? Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath? Maybe there is a composer you very much enjoy, or maybe there is a story that particularly speaks to you. Look through our current season and you can always ask us and our community on Facebook or Twitter.

The most important thing to do is to let go of any ideas you may have about opera or classical music. Open yourself up and discover the raw power of a live opera experience. Just expect to enjoy yourself!

What should I wear?

We want you to be comfortable and to enjoy yourself. Dress in whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable and at your best. A night at the opera is a fun event. It 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 on. There is no dress code at Austin Lyric Opera. Just enjoy.

To see what other people are wearing to the opera in Austin, browse Opera People.

What do I need to know?

You can come as prepared as you’d like. The story plays out on stage before your very own eyes, so there is no need for extensive background knowledge. But for those who like to come prepared, Austin Lyric Opera offers free pre-opera lectures for all operas. One hour before every performance a lecturer gives a free 30-minute talk on the opera that follows.

And you can read up on the A-Z of Opera on the Naxos website and you should also start with the Wikipedia entry on opera and click your way through operatic history from Baroque to now.

But I don’t speak Italian/French/German?

No problem! Every performance features supertitles (English translations of what’s sung, projected above the stage), visible from every seat. 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.

When should I arrive?

All evening performances (Friday and Saturday) start at 7:30 pm and the matinee performance (Sunday) starts at 3 pm. Please arrive early. Latecomers will not be admitted to the auditorium until intermission. Warning chimes are sounded pre-performance and intermission prior to curtain. Audience members who leave the auditorium during a performance will not be readmitted until intermission. The Long Center offers live video feed screens in each of its lobbies.

How long does an opera last?

You can typically expect a performance to last anywhere between 90 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 list the approximate running time when available 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, via phone or by visiting The Long Center 3M Box Office in person. Visit Ticketing Questions for more information.