The opera is a wonderful expression of art and music and storytelling, but attending a show can be intimidating if you've never been before. Here are a few basics:
Although traditionally a very formal and glamorous event, operas have become more casual over the years and attire varies to include all levels. Business attire is common but if you're not sure what to wear feel free to call the opera house beforehand to see what they recommend.Arrive Early
Once the performance starts the ushers will not admit you until after the overture or, in some cases, after the first act is over. Allow at least 30-45 minutes to find parking, get your tickets, and be seated. Stay Quiet
Be courteous and refrain from talking, whispering, and eating during the show. Also be sure to turn off your cell phone, PDA, or anything else that might ring or beep.
Most opera houses prohibit the use of photography, video, and recording devices of any kind during performances.Applause
Operas are live so of course it's courteous to show your appreciation by clapping at appropriate moments. Follow the lead of the rest of the audience if you're not sure but generally people will applaud when the conductor takes the podium, at the end of the overture, at the end of each act, and when the performers come out to take a bow.