If you’ve not been to an opera before, you may have some questions about what to expect. We’ve included the answers to those asked most often but, if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just get in touch!

Because it is relevant! *”Opera draws on the most heightened complex human situations possible in order to expand the listener’s capacity to feel”*.  Love, Passion, Kindness, Innocence, Heartbreak, Infidelity, Despair, Greed, Jealousy, Fear, Hatred, Revenge.  

Whatever you want. The perception of opera has changed. Just when the young people are discovering the joy of “dressing up” the older audience is saying “You mean I can wear my ‘good’ jeans to the opera?”

LVO uses supertitles for its performances no matter what language the opera is sung in. An English translation appears on screen, so you can follow the plot as you are going along. Be aware that in the first two rows, the supertitles are more difficult to read. 

LVO has enlightening Pre-Performance Talks by experienced educators one hour before Curtain time. These free 30-minute insights give you the chance to find out about the opera, the music and history of the time.

You might like to spend a few minutes finding out  the basic plotline as many operas aren’t sung in English.You’ll find a synopsis of any opera online and there’s a full synopsis in the production program, available to all before the performance. Spoiler alert…..don’t read the final scene in advance.  

Your choice of seat will depend on how much you want to spend and the availability of tickets in a particular price band. You can get a good view and hear every note from all areas of the intimate 500 seat Bankhead Theater. Many who are new to opera prefer sitting close where they are more engaged with the singers, while more experienced attendees may prefer the overall view and balanced acoustics from the rear of the theater.   

Not at LVO. Most of our performances have tickets ranging $10 – $90. All seats are good in the 500 seat Bankhead Theater. We have $40.00 tickets for those 40 and under and $20.00 tickets for those 20 and under. If you are a student with ID, you can book the best available for just $10 if you choose to book your STUDENT RUSH at the box office two hours or less before the opera begins. Your only concern is the possibility of a sold-out performance.  

Applause is appreciated at various points throughout an opera performance. A round of applause usually greets the conductor each time he enters the orchestra pit (you might not be able to see him, but the applause will tell you that he is there). Audience members will often applaud after well-known or well-sung arias, and always at the end of an act. There will normally be a number of curtain calls for the principal singers and conductor at the end of the performance. When in doubt, wait until others are clapping. There are times when an aria sounds like it is over but then starts up again. (She hasn’t died yet!) Take care but be enthusiastic.

That depends! Most operas at LVO are about 3 hours more or less. Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle, which usually takes place over several evenings and clocks in at a whopping 16 hours in total, is not likely to ever be seen in Livermore.   

Every child is different. Some as young as 5 can be mesmerized and never move until intermission while others should wait until 9 or 10.  If they are too young to read  supertitles, it will be important to explain each act just before seeing that act. The story will unfold on stage without need of all the words. I suggest purchasing seats on the outside edges of the theater for an easy escape. Luckily these are also the least expensive for LVO and you can still get close to the stage.  

It is worth checking the start time and travel time before you go, so you arrive in plenty of time. If you are running late, the ushers at the theater will help you. There is sometimes an opportunity to take your seat after the overture, the orchestral introduction to the opera. This generally lasts about five to ten minutes. If you arrive at the theater after this, you will probably have to wait until intermission or until the first interval to get in. The ushers may guide you to a convenient empty seat and then find your ticketed seat at intermission.