What to Expect

Many people think opera isn’t for them…we think they couldn’t be more wrong.

We’re passionate about sharing our love of opera and encourage anyone who has never experienced an opera before to give it a go. You won’t look back.

If you have any questions about opera or want more information on how you can get involved, just get in touch!

We’ve put some answers to our most commonly asked questions below to get you started.

What should I wear?

Simple answer? Whatever you like. Gone are the days when the opera meant penguin suits and dicky bows. These days, opera goers dress in whatever makes them most comfortable. If you like getting dolled up for a night at the theatre, go to town…if jeans and a t-shirt is more your style, that works for us.

Is it very long?

This of course will come down to each individual opera. Some of our operas are just one hour, while others may run to three and a half or four. Our best advice? Choose your opera based on what will interest you most and you won’t event notice the hours tick by.

Some operas will have one interval, longer ones might have two and short ones might have none at all. This information will all be available in advance on our website.

Is it in English? How will I know what it’s about?

Usually, we perform our operas in their original language – this could be Italian, French, German, English – or even Hungarian! - but all are accompanied with surtitles above or to the side of the stage which will keep you up to speed with every twist and turn of the opera plot.

If you’re someone who likes to prepare in advance, there is plenty of information about all the operas we produce online and through our website that will allow you to get to grips with the basics of who’s who and what happens when before the performance. Check out the what’s on section of our website for information on our current season. Don’t feel like doing any homework? That’s fine too! Immersing yourself into a new work without any preconceptions can be a hugely rewarding experience.

Many of our performances will also be accompanied by a pre-opera talk at the venue in advance of the performance. You can find a list of all the planned talks in the performance diary on our website.

Are there any rules?

Like all theatres, the usual rules apply when it comes to taking video or photography during the performance. However, we love our social media as much as the next person, so feel free to snap and share before, during the interval and after the performance. Just don’t forget to tag us when you do! We’re on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

People are often unsure where to clap in opera and on this, there are no set rules. Opera audiences, often clap at the end of a big aria or at a pause in the action. The curtain call at the end of the performance is your moment to really show your appreciation for the performers.

What is the theatre like?

Irish National Opera performs at theatres all over the country bringing opera to as wide an audience as possible, so our theatres vary greatly in both size and style. In Dublin, we often perform at the Gaiety Theatre or the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, or you could find us in more regional venues like the Everyman Theatre in Cork or the Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of INO.