A justily translation, opera is the Italian word for work in music. A combination of vocal and orchestral music, drama, visual arts, and dance, the art form was born in Italy over 400 years ago. Over the centuries it has served as a multi-sensory medium to share stories and tell ideas about the human condition. Though the opera is not as mainstream as it once was a few hundred years ago, it is work that can be enjoyed by all.
During our trip to Prague, Mark and I attended a performance of Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the Estates Theatre where it first premiered. As novices to the opera, we took initiatives to ensure we had an informed and enjoyable experience.
When you’re traveling and want to attend the opera, you are limited to what is being performed at the local theaters during your trip. Read a synopsis about the opera and listen to the music to prepare for the performance. Like any event held in a theatre or stadium like setting, review the seating chart and purchase available seats. Opera seats can get expensive but it’s unique experience that you won’t do often. You know, when in Rome.
Suggested attire varies by day of the week and time of the performance but business attire is a suitable option. If you enjoy dressing up, this is a great occasion to do so and you won’t be out of place. Arrive early to check your coats, grab a drink, and awe at the ornate details of the theater. Most operas run for over 2 hours, so eat beforehand and/or purchase food during the intermission.
Because it is such an expensive event, it’s important to be thoughtful of those around you. During the performance you should turn off your phone, refrain from talking, and try not to doze off. Typically you clap at the end of each act, but go along with what’s happening around you.
And that’s it! You’ve experienced your first opera and hopefully you’ve enjoyed! Been to the opera? Share in the comments!