Etiquette of the Opera 


I love opera and ballet, and I have been twice at Teatro alla Scala in Milano, and we are regular visitors of the Hungarian State Opera as well. If you plan to go to see a performance, here are few tips to avoid any faux pas!

  • Don't overdress! for the Scala for example, tuxedo and silk evening gown will immediatley show that you are a tourist, unless you go there on december 7th, which is its annual opening when you have to follow a strict dresscode, black tie. There is an other example, the Glyndebourne Opera in England, your outfit has to be black tie! There are only a few exeptions to keep in mind, the openings, the premiers, and the galas. Otherwise, just wear something elegant and you are on the safe side.
  • Don't underdress! Flipflops, sneakers, T-shirts etc... these are just no-goes!
  • It is forbidden to eat and drink during the play.
  • Be quiet, don't chitchat during the performance, keep the gossip and comments for the break.
  • The audience listens the opening in silence, but don't get suprised if there is a show stopping aria and the audience starts applauding and shouting. The same for ballet. The Russian ballett dancers for example even expect you to applaud also during their performance.
  • Turn your mobile phone off.
  • Bring your opera glasses.

Drink a glass of champagne in the break, and enjoy your opera experience.