NEW TO OPERA?
What should I wear?
A night at the opera isn’t a formal event and there’s never a dress code. Consider Vermont dressy – whether it’s dress up or khakis or jeans. Be yourself and wear something comfortable.
When should I arrive?
Please arrive on time, because performances start promptly. Make sure to allow sufficient time for traffic, parking, and weather.
What if I arrive late?
Latecomers will be allowed in at intermission, an appropriate break, or will be seated at the discretion of the management.
When should I applaud?
At the opera, unlike at the symphony or at a recital, listeners like to express their pleasure by clapping after well-executed solos and small ensemble numbers. (Very similar to a jazz performance.) If you really liked it, it’s perfectly acceptable to yell “Bravo!” for men and “Brava!” for women, or “Bravi!” to everyone.
What do I need to know?
You do not need to have extensive background knowledge about opera to attend a performance. Opera is an extraordinary feast for the eyes and ears, and with English translations projected above the stage, it’s as easy as watching a foreign film. Some people enjoy savoring the experience as a delightful surprise, while others like to carefully prepare and learn all they can before the curtain goes up. There is no right or wrong way.
Are the operas sung in English?
We perform operas the way in which they were written. Some of our productions have had English librettos (words) but many have not. No trouble, though. English translations are projected above the stage for every performance, whether the singers are singing English, Italian, French, or Russian. There is no need to learn the story or wear a decoder ring to the show. The English translations make it easy to understand opera sung in any language. You can follow every twist and turn of the plot without missing a beat.
How long does an opera last?
An opera usually runs between two and three hours. There is usually one or two intermissions during which refreshments may be purchased in the Jackson Gallery on the lower level.
How do I learn more about the opera?
Pre-performance talks – Free and informative half-hour sessions held prior to each performance one hour before curtain to learn more about the opera you are about to attend. These are held at the Memorial Baptist Church on South Pleasant Street opposite the Theater.
Watch, Listen, and Learn – Watch YouTube clips and audio selections which have been selected by OCM board member J. Scott Morrison. Find these under “The Music” tab here .