Modern Day Opera Etiquette

We here at Painted Sky Opera believe that every person should be able to enjoy opera in a comfortable and welcoming manner. So, put simply, come as you are! But you are welcome to see below if you are interested in some helpful hints to get you prepared.

The Dress Code –  At Painted Sky Opera we do not adhere to a specific dress code other than requiring that you be fully clothed including shoes. Opera is a magical, theatrical, dramatic affair.  Most people associate going to the opera with being elegantly dressed: top hat and tails, sparkling gowns, pristine gloves and furs. At Painted Sky Opera we do not adhere to a specific dress code other than requiring that you be fully clothed including shoes. So feel free to dress more casually. If you are looking for a recommendation, think business casual. Think Sunday best. Wear what you would wear going out to a nice dinner.

Or, take this time to dust off your pearls and  black tie, and dress to the nines!

We believe the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and enjoy the production.


What to Bring –  Yourself for starters and a friend would be a wonderful addition. In most large houses, guests are encouraged to bring opera glasses (binoculars) but in Freede Little Theatre, every seat has a great view, so you are in luck! Good manners are always welcomed as is a cell phone that is turned off.


How to Prepare – No preparation is needed to enjoy the show, however if you are itching for a fix before you take your seat, the best way to prepare before attending, is to go to the specific detail page for the event and read the story of the opera. If you want a truly immersive experience and you just so happen to have a little free time before the show you can come hear Danielle Herrington give a delightful pre-show talk!  

How will I understand it?  

Opera in performed in many different languages including English. Take a deep breath, you don’t need to speak a foreign language to understand it. During every opera performance in the Freede Little Theatre, we project English subtitles on the stage, so you can read along. As long as you have two eyes attached to your head on arrival, you shouldn’t have any issues understanding the show.


Do I have to be quiet during the performance?

Yep, you do. Because you won’t want to miss one note and neither will anyone else.

When is the right time to clap?

Generally, you clap at the end of each Act or at the end of a spectacular aria or ensemble.

If you aren’t sure when to clap, wait for those around you. Then let them have it! If you are tempted to join in the chorus of praise remember that opera lovers like getting their Italian gender endings correct. So: “brava!” for a woman, “bravo!” for man and “bravi!” for everyone. On the other hand, you can just whistle, shout or stay entirely silent depending on your mood.

Can I bring my cellphone?

Opera singers train for years so that their voices can be heard without a microphone. And the Freede Little Theatre has great acoustics to help you hear. But that wonderful acoustic quality of the theater also means that everyone can hear your ringing, buzzing, dinging cell phones.

Please turn it off before the opera starts. Don’t worry, we will remind you.

Please be considerate so that everyone (including you!) can hear every note and fully enjoy the beautiful music.

What time should I arrive?

Check your tickets or the website for the starting time of the show. Then plan to arrive at the Civic Center parking lot well before that. You want to have plenty of time to park and settle yourself in your seat before the show begins.

Parking prices vary, so arrive early so you can park closer to the theater!