June 29, 2009 by Sarojini Seupersad
Not many people go to the opera, but if you do here are a few tips to make your experience a little smoother.
1) DON”T BE LATE – If you are late to the Met, even by 2 minutes, you will ushered to “The Little Bad Kids Room,” which is to say, a mini-auditorium with a large screen that shows the opera you paid to see live, but won’t because you were late. They will not let you sit in your real seats until the first intermission, which can be an hour away. And you will not have access to those cute little translation screens either. Not fun. DO NOT BE LATE.
2) EAT BEFORE YOU GO – Underline this if you’re vegetarian or vegan. You will have no luck at getting a meal here. Most opera experiences last three hours or so. Prepare to be there for a while. Plus, intermission is such a mad-dash for the concession stand and you probably don’t stand a chance getting any food by the time you get to the front of the line. Crazy. Who knew well-heeled old ladies could move so fast (and nab all of the veggie treats)? NOTE TO THE MET: Get more vegetarian options. And stock more of them.
3) DO NOT WEAR JEANS – You will look ridiculous and everyone will stare at you. No one will kick you out, but again, you will look ridiculous. Yes, we’ve all seen the negative social effect of “Casual Fridays” on our society, but believe it or not, there are still some places where it is inappropriate to wear what you want to. You don’t have to wear a tux, but for crap’s sake, look nice. If you don’t want to dress up a bit, don’t go to the opera.
4) DON’T TALK TO THE STAFF BECAUSE THEY ARE TRAINED TO BE SNOBS – I know you’re a nice person. I’m a nice person, too. But the staff at most opera houses don’t care and don’t want to strike up small talk while they’re getting you your over-priced glass of champagne. Think I’m lying? TRY striking up a conversation with the bartender. I dare you. While they may give you directions to the bathroom, they don’t care about anything else that comes out of your mouth.
5) DON’T HANG OUT TOO LONG AFTERWARDS – Putting on a opera is a very big production and the staff is there way before you get there. They have to clean up after you AND want to go home. Don’t keep them from getting home. Please.
6) OBVIOUS THINGS – Don’t take pictures, do not talk to your neighbor while the production is on and do not forget where you were sitting. Pretty obvious, right?
Going to the Opera is fun and wonderful! It’s a special event for you and don’t forget, it’s a special event for all of the other patrons. If you’ve never been yet, then I hope this little list gives you a heads-up on what to expect. It’s nice and comfortable and but not too nice and comfortable. 🙂