HOW TO OPERA

Are you new here or haven't been in a long time?

The opera is not a place you go every day. So you might ask yourself a question or two before you go - here are a few answers from us.

Too long, boring and only for old people? 😴

Don't listen to the clichés!
Admittedly, most opera evenings are quite long. But, when watching films, we also love the director's cut, willingly pay for overlength at the cinema or stream the next episode of a series because it's so exciting. And thanks to a break in between, we can relax, have a drink or something to eat, talk about what we've heard and seen and go to the toilet.

Love, jealousy, despair, hatred, betrayal, death or even murder: the great emotions and fates are the themes on the opera stage - ones that move us even today. So it certainly won't be boring, if you feel like getting involved in this emotional experience.

And yes, the average age of our audience is high at first glance. But looking at the topics, we honestly ask ourselves: Why? Because we are sure: this moves us all! And the love of music and theatre suits all ages anyway.

Opera in Italian – I won’t understand a thing 🤯

Actually…
There are surtitles!
We perform an opera in the original language - Italian, French, German, Russian – But you can read the German translation of the libretto, i.e. the sung text, simultaneously at almost every performance. The surtitles are displayed on the portal above the stage.

Unfortunately, due to the structural conditions of our theatres, these are not equally easy to read or visible from all seats. Our staff will be happy to advise you on purchases at the Düsseldorf Opera Shop and the Duisburg Theatre Box Office.

Still unsure? 🤔👍🏼

Here's how to find out if you'll like it (and what you will like)
Every opera production is different. Not only do they differ in content and music, but the director responsible for the respective production works together with a team of different designers of stage, costume and lighting to create a unique and magical evening.

On the production pages for our operas (see program) you can get a good idea of what to expect:


  • numerous performance photos will show what the stage and costumes look like
  • a short video trailer also allows a first listen to the music

Do not hesitate to ask our colleagues at the Opernshop Düsseldorf or the Theaterkasse at Theater Duisburg, both in person and over the phone. They know every production and are happy to consult.

Another tip for new productions: The opera workshop takes place in the week leading up to the premiere. Here you can hear interesting facts about the new play and watch a stage rehearsal. And admission is free!

Buying the tickets 🎫

When and where?
Tickets for the entire current season - i.e., until the beginning of the next summer holidays - are available in advance without additional fees:

  • on site at the Opernshop Düsseldorf or the Theaterkasse at Theater Duisburg
  • in our webshop (with the possibility of print at home tickets)
  • by telephone

For more information click here

By the way: For tickets purchased in advance, your journey by public transport in the VRR (2nd class, Print at home unfortunately excluded) is free of charge.

For those who decide to come at short notice, the box office at Opernhaus Düsseldorf and Theater Duisburg opens one hour before the performance at the respective venue.

How about a little less? 💰

Buying cheaper tickets
Tickets for the opera aren’t actually as expensive as you would think: regular tickets are available starting at 17€ in Düsseldorf and 14€ in Duisburg. Just check out our programme to see which price categories are available for each production.

We also offer discounts on tickets to many target groups – you can find an overview of all of them here.

You don't fall into one of these groups but still want to save money on tickets? With the 8er-ticket in Düsseldorf and the 6er-ticket in Duisburg, each ticket is cheaper on average. You can find more information here.

Visiting the opera as a family or group 👩‍👩‍👦‍👦

Age recommendations, discounts, …
What age is an opera suitable for?
Opera is young! Our children's operas on the big stage are particularly suitable for families and children aged 6 and above – for more information click here.

you will find an age recommendation for orientation on the respective production page of all opera and ballet productions in our repertoire.

P.S.: Seat cushions for children can be borrowed at the programme and information desk (Düsseldorf) or at the cloakrooms (Duisburg) (school performances excluded).

How much are tickets for children and young people?
Pupils, trainees and students under 28 can buy tickets in advance for a reduced price and last-minute tickets at the box office for 10 euros – find more information here. And with the Young 4er ticket, a visit to the opera also only costs 10 euros in advance – find more information here.

Opera at family rates

4 tickets for 40 euros: In cooperation with Familienkarten Düsseldorf, Duisburg and Rhein-Kreis Neuss we offer this for selected performances – find all dates for this season and more information here.

Going to the opera with friends
If you want to attend a performance together with friends, our 8er season tickets in Düsseldorf or 6er season tickets in Duisburg are an insider's tip: redeemable alone, in pairs or as a mini-group, you save money compared to buying individual tickets - find more information here.

Group, company, or club outings
All information on our group offers can be found here.

Getting ready 👠👟

Or: is there actually a dress code?
We don't have a dress code: what’s important to us is that you feel comfortable. Whether it's an "after work" look, jeans and sneakers or something a little more festive because you want to wear that big gown again: everything is allowed – and no one will mind!

A tip from us: pack some sweets (without wrapping paper) – the unpleasant urge to cough tends to attack us when we want to be particularly quiet. And some tissues – for the big emotions.

Do I have to read up on the play beforehand? 🔎

Our answer is a firm no!
Don't be put off by the "great, complex art form" of opera: enjoy a wonderful musical evening, escape from everyday life and let the impressions sink in.

And if you do feel like getting some information in advance you will find additional information on the respective production page, such as a summary of the plot and a backstage trailer in which those involved in the production have their say. And our overview of technical terms clarifies or refreshes knowledge (see below).

On the evening of the performance itself, the programme booklet (available at the programme counters and from the evening staff) and the free introduction 30 minutes before the performance give you the opportunity to get to grips with the play and the production.

What was an overture again? 📚


An overview of technical terms
Act
In a play, an act is a main section of the plot. Just as novels are divided into chapters, the story told in (musical) theatre is divided into several acts. Many operas and operettas are divided into three acts; only rarely does an opera contain more than five acts.

Alto / Baritone / Bass / Mezzo-soprano / Soprano / Tenor
The six registers of the singer's voice: they are divided into female and male voices and between high and low. For female singers there are soprano (high), mezzo-soprano (medium) and alto (low), for male singers tenor (high), baritone (medium) and bass (low).

Aria
An aria is a solo vocal piece within an opera, i.e., performed without other singers, usually accompanied by the orchestra. Many opera arias are also very popular individually - just think of "Nessum dorma" from Puccini's "Turandot" or "La donna è mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto", famous from the advertisements of a mobile phone provider or for frozen pizza.

Brava! Bravo! Bravissima! Bravissimo! Bravi tutti!
The audience is thrilled by the performances on stage and in the orchestra pit and applauds. The Italian cries of "Brava!" and "Bravo!" (translated as "Good!" for a female and male performer respectively), "Bravissima!" and "Bravissimo!" ("Very good!") or "Bravi tutti!" ("All good!") reinforce the applause.

Libretto
The libretto, written by the librettist(s), is the text for an opera. The composer(s) compose(s) the music based on this text.

Matinee
A matinee is an artistic event in the morning.

Overture
In an opera, the overture is the instrumental piece of music used as an introduction at the beginning.

How do I get there? 🚘🚲🚋

Information for your journey
Our venues are very centrally located in both cities: the Opernhaus Düsseldorf right between the "Kö" and the old town, the Theater Duisburg on the edge of the pedestrian zone in the city centre.

Directions to Opernhaus Düsseldorf

Directions to Theater Duisburg

By the way: Tickets purchased in advance include travel by public transport on the VRR (2nd class, Print@home unfortunately excluded).

Welcome to the show! 🎭🩰


House opening, cloakroom, introductions and more
Doors open!
Our houses and the box office at Opernhaus Düsseldorf and Theater Duisburg open one hour before the performance begins.

The doors to the auditorium open at least 10 minutes before the start of the performance.

Cloakroom
This service is free of charge for our guests: Please hand over your jacket or coat as well as larger bags or backpacks.

You will find the cloakrooms at Opernhaus Düsseldorf directly upon entering the building on the lowest level.

At Theater Duisburg you will find cloakrooms in front of all auditorium doors. Feel free to hand in your belongings where you will be sitting during the performance: This will shorten your waiting time after the performance.

Mobile phones & photography
Selfie in the foyer? Sure!

Taking photos, posting pictures and making phone calls is, of course, allowed before and after the performance as well as during the breaks. We would love for you to link our channels on social media!

However, we ask that you turn off your mobile phones before the performance begins so that nothing disturbs the performance or other visitors.

No picture, video or audio recordings are allowed during the performance: we are obliged to protect the copyright and personal rights of our artists.

Introductions
Turning the small circle of connoisseurs into a large one was already demanded by Bertolt Brecht: "For art needs knowledge." For this reason, we offer an introduction to all opera and ballet evenings 30 minutes before they begin in the 1st Rang Foyer (Düsseldorf) or Opern Foyer (Duisburg).

Program booklet
Every opera or ballet production comes with a detailed program booklet with colorful photos of the scenes and selected texts about the production.

You can buy the program booklets in the foyer directly before your performance or in advance at the Opernshop and the box office at Theater Duisburg: the booklets are published on the day of the premiere or revival and are also available the day after.

Where is my seat?
Your ticket will tell you where you are seated:

Level The stalls are the lowest level of the auditorium; the Opernhaus Düsseldorf has a 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier for this purpose, the Theater Duisburg has a 1st and 2nd tier.

Side The indication left or right - always starting from the view towards the stage - helps you to figure out on which side you should best enter the auditorium.

Row On the outside, above the doors, you will find an indication of which rows you can access through the respective door. You will also find the row numbering on the outermost seat of each row in the auditorium.

Seat number The seat number is written on the folded-up seat of the chairs.

If you need help finding your way, our evening service staff will be happy to help you at any time: just ask them!

Narrow rows
The rows of seats are cramped: kindly turn your face to the guests who have already taken their seats as you walk through the row. If the person sitting next to you wants to get to their seat, please stand up.

Punctuality
As a rule, all performances start on time. If you arrive late, you may not be able to get to your booked seat until the interval. Until then, you can follow the performance on a monitor from the foyer.

Leaving during the performance?
If it is absolutely necessary for you to leave the auditorium during the performance, you may not be able to return directly to your seat. We will only let you back in on the 3rd tier (Opernhaus Düsseldorf) or 2nd tier (Theater Duisburg) if possible.

Cheers and applause 👏🏼

Applauding: when, why and how?
Everyone sits in their seats, the lights in the hall are dimmed, the doors to the foyer close: it's starting! Then the audience begins to clap before the first bar of music - why, actually? This applause welcomes the entering conductor and the orchestra in the pit.

The applause before the interval and at the end is a sign of appreciation for the artists. In this way, you can show your enthusiasm and also greet one or the other with a hearty "Brava! Brava! Bravo! Bravissima! Bravissimo! Bravi tutti! in addition: I thought you were particularly great! These shouts from the Italian language express great enthusiasm - see above in the Little ABC of Technical Terms.

And clapping in between? Let your emotions run free. In Italian opera in particular, clapping was and still is done after individual arias to signal to the singers that you were moved, inspired or delighted by their vocal artistry.
If you are unsure whether the time is right, the audience around you is often the right indicator of whether applause is appropriate or whether you are so captivated by the stagecraft and the music that you only give the artists plenty of applause at the end of the performance.

Food & beverage 🍺🥨

What and when?
What?
Beer and pretzels or champagne and canapés - our audience is as versatile as our art and that's why our catering offer is too: The drinks menu offers a wide selection of non-alcoholic drinks, beer, wine, sparkling wine and champagne - whatever you would like to toast a special evening with. Small snacks "to go" or antipasti plates and small dishes are offered in the changing food menus.

When?
Before the performance and during the interval, you have the opportunity to have a drink and/or a bite to eat.

Where?
At Opernhaus Düsseldorf you will find drinks counters in the stalls and 1st tier foyer, where snacks are also available "to go". Antipasti plates and the like can be ordered at the food counter in the stalls foyer.

The drinks counters at Theater Duisburg are located in the entrance foyer and in the Opernfoyer on the 1st tier. In the opera foyer you can also order snacks and small plates of food.

By the way: you can order a table and snack in advance from our catering partners - no queuing, just sit down at the table. You can find more information here: for Opernhaus Düsseldorf and Theater Duisburg.

Better not
Please do not bring any food or drinks with you.

Eating and drinking in the auditorium is not permitted.

A nightcap after the performance
Below, our staff and artists reveal their favorite places in Düsseldorf and Duisburg.

See you soon! 🥂

Fancy a nightcap? Or get home as quickly as possible? Lost something?
A nightcap after the performance?
Our staff and artists reveal their favorite places.

DÜSSELDORF

DUISBURG
The wine bar in the City Palais opposite is very popular. The restaurants on Dellplatz and at the Inner Harbour offer something for every taste.

Taxi Service
We will make sure that taxis are waiting for you after the performances.


Lost property
Have you forgotten or lost something? Please call us!