Your choice of seat will depend on how much you want to spend and the availability of tickets in a particular price band. The most expensive seats tend to be in the dress circle, with the cheapest seats in ‘the gods’ or balcony. You can get a good view and hear every note from nearly all areas of the theatre.
Whatever you want. Some people like to dress up, but you really don’t have to.
You might like to spend a few minutes finding out the basic plotline as many operas aren’t sung in English. You’ll find a synopsis of any opera online and there’s a full synopsis in the production programme, available for sale immediately before the performance from the theatre staff. Also, most of Scottish Opera’s performances are supertitled (see below) so you can follow what’s going on.
Scottish Opera uses supertitles for its performances in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness, no matter what language the opera is sung in. An English translation appears on screens, so you can follow the plot as you are going along. Be aware that in some parts of most theatres, the supertitles are not visible; so if you want to see them, make sure you have a seat with a view of the screens when you buy your tickets.
Scottish Opera also has Opera Unwrapped events for most productions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. These hour-long tasters give you the chance to find out about the opera and hear some of the best-known music.
We start most of our performances at 7.15pm. It’s worth checking the start time and travel time before you go, so you arrive in plenty of time. If you are running late, the ushers at the theatre will help you. There is usually an opportunity to take your seat after the overture, the orchestral introduction to the opera. This generally lasts about five to ten minutes. If you arrive at the theatre after this, you will probably have to wait until either the end of the first act or until the first interval to get in.
Applause is appreciated at various points throughout an opera performance. A round of applause usually greets the conductor each time they enter the orchestra pit (you might not be able to see them, but the applause will tell you that they are there). Audience members will often applaud after well-known or well-sung arias, and always at the end of an act. There will normally be a number of curtain calls for the principal singers and conductor at the end of the performance.
Ticket prices vary – most of our performances have tickets starting at under £20 and, if you’re under 26, you can book the best seat in the house for just £10.
That depends! We’ve staged operas of all different lengths, from short and snappy 15-minute pieces to Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle which usually takes place over several evenings and clocks in at a whopping 16 hours in total. Our longer performances will always have intervals so you won't be sitting for too long, and we’ll always list the approximate running time of each performance on our website.