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by tpgutshall

How to Survive the Opera

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A very daunting social event is a night at the Opera.  This can be very overwhelming and scary for someone if they have no idea to expect.  Here are a few tips  to help you make it through the night (and lead everyone else to believe that you are an Opera expert!)

  • Who are the major composers?  Remember these names:  Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, & Puccni.  More than likely, you will be attending an Opera by one of these heavy hitters.
  • What are the different styles of Opera?  Comedies & Drama.  You can easily tell by the music and the actions of the actors on stage.
  • What are the parts of Opera?  The Aira is a long interrupted solo vocal that sound like songs and the recitative is a dialogue that sounds like two singers going back in forth.  
  • What do you wear?  You should wear a cocktail dress and men should wear a coat and tie.  If you are going to an opening night or gala event, break out your black tie clothing.
  • When do you clap?  You applaud when the conductor takes the podium and when the curtain goes down. 
  • Intermission?  What do you do?  Go get a drink!  You also may be able to score a seat upgrade if seats go unclaimed.
  • How do I stay awake!!  Drink coffee prior to the performance and keep mints in your purse.  If all else fails....just shut your eyes for a few minutes.  Even the most serious opera followers do it...more than they will admit.