4 things to avoid when attending an opera

There’s a true pride and shimmer to identify yourself as an opera patron. But for any novice or patron, opera etiquette is a must. Steer clear of these four big etiquette mistakes the next time you’re seeing a show at the opera.


Don’t sing or hum along
You may know all the worlds to ‘Nessun Dorma’ but the people sitting around you paid good money to hear a professional angel of music sing. Similarly, don’t quietly tap along to the music.


Eat before the show
Attending the opera is not like sitting down in a movie theatre. Don’t take snacks. Even sneaky ones, like nuts in bags and chocolate in wrappers, will be your downfall if the people sitting around you can hear you chewing.


Don’t rush out as soon as the curtain falls
There’s a method in leaving a football game to race to the carpark five minutes before final siren, but at the opera, this is a no-no. Stay until the end of the show. From your seat, you’ll find the audience erupts in applause and appreciation for the artists and musicians who have just performed.

Usually, a standing ovation follows. This could last anywhere from one curtain call to 101. Don’t believe it? Renowned opera artist Placido Domingo holds the record for receiving the longest standing ovation after an opera performance – he was recalled to the stage for 101 curtain calls, lasting a whopping 80 minutes after a performance of Othello at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1991.


Lastly, turn off your mobile phone
There is nothing more embarrassing than your mobile going off right when Rodolfo’s about to kiss Mimi. Just turn it off. Simple, safe.


Opera Australia features performances in Sydney and Melbourne and New Zealand Opera runs shows in Auckland and Wellington. For more tips on attending the opera for the first time, read our definitive guide to opera for novices here.

What are you biggest opera gripes?



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