Tips for Seeing the Opera with Your Family

Watching the opera may not immediately spring to mind when thinking of family-friendly activities. Because of its perceived complex narrative and highfalutin ambiance, people tend to sideline it as an experience primarily meant for adults. However, this is a misconception. The vibrant, dynamic spectacle that is the opera can be a fun and enriching experience for the entire family. Here are some tips that will help you introduce your loved ones to this wonderful form of the performing arts with ease and grace.

Pre-show Preparation

Depending on your location or travel plans, there can be a multitude of options for watching an opera. For instance, securing Verona opera tickets for a summer vacation even has the added bonus of potentially making for an interesting road trip. However, before booking tickets and setting the date for the opera, the key is pre-show preparation. When introducing a new style of music, theater or dance to your kids, it’s always wise to provide familiarization. You can start by discussing the storyline, presenting some popular tunes, or even showing scenes from operatic adaptations.

Selecting the Right Opera

Not all operas are apt for young audiences. When choosing an opera for your family outing, consider the content and duration of the show. Operas like Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, Humperdinck’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’, or Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ are child-friendly operas that both educate and entertain. They possess charming storylines, famous melodies, vivacious humor and they typically run for shorter durations. Operas with subtitles can also be helpful as they aid in comprehension of the ongoing narrative.

Choosing the Perfect Seats

Where you sit can significantly impact your family’s opera experience. Unlike a movie theater, where sound and view are consistent, opera houses have varying acoustics and line-of-sight depending on one’s seating. Box seats, for instance, offer the best views. Yet, they might not deliver the ideal acoustics compared to the stalls or the dress circle. Always aim for the ‘sweet spot’ between a good view and great acoustics.

Creating the Calendar Event

Your much-anticipated family night at the opera should not be limited to the performance itself. Make it a date to remember by bookending the theater outing with a tasty meal at a family-friendly local restaurant. If the show is a matinee, you could schedule a fun-filled afternoon sightseeing or participating in kid-friendly local activities. The goal is to make it an overall enthralling family day, cementing memorable experiences that extend beyond the opera’s final curtain.

Mind Your Manners 

Start by explaining to your family, particularly the little ones, about theater etiquette such as staying silent during the performance, sitting still, and applauding at appropriate times. However, remember that rigid adherence to these rules can potentially suck out the joy from the experience. Let your children know that it is acceptable to whisper questions to you or express their reactions, as long as they’re not overly disruptive.

Family-Friendly Operatic Perks

To entice young patrons, many opera houses offer family-friendly matinees, which are designed to engage children. They often include interactive workshops and behind-the-scenes tours aimed at educating young audiences about the magic of opera. Some even provide tailored programs that offer discounted tickets for entire families.

In Conclusion

The flutter of costumes on stage, the breathtaking scenery, the sheer power of the human voice, and gripping storylines filled with triumphs, betrayals, and star-crossed lovers – the opera offers a myriad of opportunities to captivate, educate, and entertain. In demystifying the opera, parents not only provide their children with an enriching cultural experience but also spark their imagination, creativity and love of the arts. With the right preparation, the right opera, and some excitement on your part, heading to the opera can become one of the coolest family activities to look forward to.

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