Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Opera Etiquette

Just like Jessica and her friends shared with us earlier this year in her post “Law and Order: Opera Unit," no one wants their Opera experience to be affected by what other audience members are doing around them. Most of these rules are general courtesy for any type of performance, but just in case you need a refresher, here are a few opera do’s and don’ts to ensure that you and everyone around you shares an enjoyable experience!

Do turn off all electronic devices. Cellphones, Blackberries, Ipods, Ipads, etc. Just like in the movies, the theatre, a meeting or even in church – no one wants to hear your ringtone or see your texting conversation. You should be enjoying the performance that you paid to see – your missed calls and messages will still be there when the show is over!

Don’t bring cameras or any type of recording devices. Something like this might happen…(Not really, but it should scare anyone out of trying to take videos or pictures during a performance!)

Do arrive on time. And by on-time, I mean in your seats, ready to watch the performance before the curtain goes up. However, if for whatever reason you do not make it on time, BLO does have a late seating policy: “Patrons arriving after the start of the performance may miss substantial portions of the opera — perhaps as much as the first act."

Don’t talk. Just like with cellphones, no one else in the audience wants to hear your conversation, (if they did, you would be on stage, not the performers!) so please save all conversations for the intermissions or after the performance.

Do take a break during the Intermissions – get up, go to the bathroom, enjoy some refreshments (But remember Jessica’s story, you may think your eating candy doesn’t bother anyone around you – but someone in the row behind you might think differently. Just be conscientious when eating during a performance if it is allowed.)

Do applaud! Every performer wants to hear applause, and the opera is no different. There are, however appropriate times to applaud – such as after a big aria, at the end of each act, and of course, when the singers come out to take a bow. If you are unsure whether or not it is an appropriate time to applaud, following the lead of other audience members is a safe bet. If you really want to show your appreciation, you can yell “Bravo!” for a male singer, “Brava!” for a female singer, or “Bravi!” for a number of singers, but yelling anything else is considered inappropriate.

Don’t forget to enjoy the performance! Although this list of do’s and don’ts may seem long, just remember to be courteous to others and show respect for not only the performers, but for other audience members as well. If you remember to do that, then you along with everyone around you will be sure to have a great opera experience.

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