What to Expect at the Opera
  • Coming to Houston Grand Opera for the first time? Prepare for an exciting, unique, and memorable experience! Here are some answers to frequently-asked questions to help you get the most out of your opera experience.  

    May I bring children?
    We welcome opera fans of all ages, but very young children can sometimes disrupt the performance and disturb other patrons. Children who are able to sit quietly through an entire performance, which can run for three hours, are welcome. We recommend a minimum age of seven years for this reason. Babies in arms are not permitted in the theater. Children under the age of fourteen must be accompanied by an adult. Disruptive or noisy children, along with their accompanying adult, will be asked by an usher to leave the theater. Unless the programming is specific to children and family audiences, please use discretion in choosing to bring a child to a performance.  

    Please note: every patron, regardless of age, requires a ticket. There are no exceptions to this policy.

    When is the Box Office open? Can I buy tickets in person?
    Houston Grand Opera’s Box Office is located at the Wortham Center, 550 Prairie Street (between Smith and Bagby), and it’s open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the opera season. On Saturdays and Sundays when there is a performance, the Box Office is open from noon until curtain. We’re also available by phone at 713-228-OPERA (6737). The Box Office is closed from mid-May until single tickets go on sale in September. For your convenience there is ten-minute curbside parking on the south side of the street, right next to the Box Office.

    What does my ticket price include?
    Your ticket price includes $2.25 in facility and theater district fees. Ticket prices are the same regardless of whether you purchase your ticket online, by phone, or in person at the Box Office.

    Why can’t I choose the “Mail” option for my tickets?
    If the performance you have booked is to take place within the next seven days, you cannot chose the "Mail" option. This is because you may not receive your tickets in time if we mail them! To avoid this inconvenience, select the “print at home” option for your tickets, or "hold at box office" for pick up.    

    I’ve ordered my tickets by phone or online. How do I pick them up?
    You may pick up your tickets at the box office Will Call windows on the night of your performance; we recommend arriving at least thirty minutes before your performance start time. Please note that beginning one hour before show time, the Box Office is only able to handle inquiries regarding that day’s performance. You may exchange tickets at the Box Office, but only up to curtain time; once a performance has commenced, you cannot exchange your seat.

    Oh no! I’ve lost my tickets! What do I do?
    Don’t panic. We will replace lost tickets at no charge. Call 713-228-OPERA  (6737) or visit the Box Office have your tickets reprinted.

    What should I wear?
    Many operagoers wear business or evening attire, but many dress casually. Either is just fine!

    How will I understand what's being sung?
    HGO provides you with English translations, projected above the stage.

    What happens if I'm late for a performance?
    Check your ticket for the curtain time, and check the parking and directions section of our website for updates on street closures. Please allow ample time for traffic and parking conditions. Out of consideration for the performers and other members of the audience, we observe a "no late seating" policy. Those arriving after the performance has begun will be seated at an appropriate pause or at intermission. There are television monitors in the foyer so that patrons won’t miss any of the production while waiting to be seated. We do not offer refunds or exchanges for latecomers.

    Insider Tip: Arrive early (doors open at 6 p.m. for 7:30 p.m. performances, and at Noon for 2 p.m. performances), pre-order your intermission drinks at the bar, then enjoy our free Opera Insights talk, given by HGO Dramaturg Mena Mark Hanna. You'll be relaxed and ready for the show to start!

    What if I need to leave my seat during the performance?
    Patrons who must leave the auditorium for any reason during the performance will be readmitted at intermission or an appropriate pause.

    Do you have wheelchair seating?
    Yes! Wheelchair and companion seating is available. We recommend calling HGO Customer Care at 713-228-OPERA (6737) to reserve these seats well in advance.

    Do you offer hearing-assistance devices?
    Yes! These are provided free of charge Houston First Corporation. Call 713-228-OPERA (6737) in advance to reserve.

    How do I avoid the line at the bar during intermission?
    Before the show, pick up a beverage order form at the bar. List the beverages of your choice and present it to the bartender for purchase. At intermission, your beverages will be ready for you.

    What if I have a question at the theater?
    Ask our friendly, uniformed ushers or visit with a customer care representative.

    How to have a spectacular opera experience

    • Turn off wristwatch alarms, cell phones, and beepers for the duration of the show. We’ll remind you again with an announcement before the performance. If you are concerned about missing an emergency call, please leave your name or device and seat location with an usher and we will alert you if a call comes through.   
    • Be modest with your use of fragrances as some patrons may have allergies.   
    • Wait until intermission or after the performance to discuss the show. Even whispers carry!   
    • Unwrap throat-lozenges and hard candies before the performance begins. Because of the theater’s excellent acoustics, even the smallest sounds carry. One crinkly wrapper can affect the opera experience of others.   
    • If you have a complaint about another guest, please tell an usher rather than approaching the person yourself. 

     

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