You could be in England at the Royal Opera House, The Bolshoi in Moscow, La Scala, Milan in Italy, or even the Sydney Opera House – whichever corner of the globe you might be heading to next, one thing is certain: Opera seems to be the entertainment of choice.
Many countries and cities pride themselves on their history with Opera and the stunning architecture of the opera houses that are used to display them.
To many, Opera usually involves an intimidating woman wearing horns – its something that is pretentious and extremely dull. But did you know that Opera can be enjoyed by everyone? Before you question those operetta tickets in Vienna, read on and discover how you can enjoy opera no matter what country or city you might be heading to next. Don’t worry, you can leave your ball gown at home!
Choose the right opera
If this is your first opera, then most recommend selecting something fun, rather than something heavy with drama. You’re not trying to be an expert or critic in the art of opera, you just want your money’s worth and to enjoy yourself!
Operas come in all shapes and sizes as well as genres. So, the best thing to do is to do a little research before you book your first experience.
Contrary to popular belief, your seat doesn’t have to be expensive for it to be good. The seating plan can be a little daunting in itself…the best advice, head to the higher levels and get yourself a good pair of binoculars! Sitting upstairs will be cheaper and the sound will probably be better. Remember, Opera houses are built with large audiences in mind, so you won’t be missing out.
If you do have the means to get an expensive seat, then try to sit in the centre, so you’re on the same level with the orchestra. Avoid the side boxes.
Warm up your ears
Another handy tip. Listen to the music of your chosen opera beforehand and also get to know the plot before you go. You don’t need to be proficient in a wide range of languages to enjoy what’s going on. In fact, operas that are sung in English can be just as difficult to follow.
Don’t get too swept up in what is happening. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy the performances while you’re there. Don’t sweat the plot, just enjoy the moment; Opera wants you to love it!
Words are often projected above the stage anyway, so you can follow what the performers are saying or even on the back of seats in screens. But remember, opera is mostly about the music, rather than the literal narrative.
Head to the bathroom
The running time of an opera can vary. Most recommend a trip to the bathroom before the show begins and during the interval (there might be more than one). Things seem to take longer if you’re hungry, so make sure you have something to eat before the show begins.