Parents’ Guide to the 2011-2012 Season

While TDO believes that everyone should have access to great opera, not every opera is great for everyone. Some opera contain themes that would be better suited for more mature audiences. To help you determine which opera might be appropriate for your family, TDO has compiled this Parent’s Guide to the Season.

Have questions about attending the opera with your family? See Bringing Kids to the Opera.


Lucia di Lammermoor

Lucia di Lammermoor

by Gaetano Donizetti

Opens October 21, 2011

Performances at the Winspear Opera House

Length of Opera: approximately 3 hours with 2 intermissions

Type of Opera: Dramatic

Sung in: Italian with English Translations projected above the stage

Overview: Lucia, a young girl, is forced to give up the man she loves and marry someone of her brother’s choosing. Lucia eventually goes mad, killing her husband. Her lost love returns to find her dead and kills himself. Read full synopsis.

Opera contains: mad scenes, sword fights, stage blood from stabbings, suicide

TDO Rating: PG-13


Tristan & Isolde

Tristan & Isolde

by Richard Wagner

An Opera in Concert

Opens February 16, 2012

Performances at the Winspear Opera House

NOTE: this opera will be performed in a semi-staged concert format using projections for scenery. Costumes will be modern dress.

Length of Opera: approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes with 2 intermissions

Type of Opera: Dramatic

Sung in: German with English Translations projected above the stage

Overview: Tristan is ordered to take Isolde on his ship to meet King Marke, whom she is to marry. During the trip they mistakenly take a love potion and fall in love. The two sneak around and are found in each other’s arms. In a fight, Tristan is wounded and dies as Isolde comes to his side. In her grief she collapses and dies after seeing a vision of Tristan. Read full synopsis.

Opera contains: magic, stage fighting, death

TDO Rating: PG-13


La traviata

The Lighthouse

by Peter Maxwell Davies

Opens March 16, 2012

Performances at the Wyly Theatre

Length of Opera: 72 minutes with no intermission

Type of Opera: Dramatic

Sung in: English with supertitles projected above the stage

Overview: Three relief officers are in a court of inquiry looking into the “unnatural” disappearance of three lighthouse keepers. All three give their explanation as to what happened to the lighthouse keepers. The opera flashes back to the lighthouse keepers at the table playing cards. They have been on duty for months and are quarrelling. Fog and storms roll in as the relief boat approaches. The keepers believe they are being attacked by the Beast. As the storm intensifies the keepers vanish and are replaced by the relief crew who reveal they killed the keepers. Read full synopsis.

Opera contains: murder, deception

TDO Rating: PG-8


La traviata

La traviata

by Guiseppe Verdi

Opens April 13, 2012

Performances at the Winspear Opera House

Length of Opera: approximately 3 hours with 2 intermissions

Type of Opera: Dramatic

Sung in: Italian with English Translations projected above the stage

Overview: Violetta, a famous courtesan, leaves her life of luxury to run off with Alfredo and live in the country. They live there happily until Alfredo’s father arrives and pleads with her to leave Alfredo for the sake of his family’s reputation. She finally agrees and returns to Paris. Alfredo follows her and confronts her, offering to buy her love with money. The two part ways. Violetta becomes very ill. Alfredo’s father realizes he was wrong and sends Alfredo to her but it is too late. She dies in his arms. Read full synopsis.

Opera contains: prostitution, drinking, illness and death

TDO Rating: PG-13


The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Opens April 20, 2012

Performances at the Winspear Opera House

Length of Opera: approximately 3 hours with 1 intermission

Type of Opera: Dramatic

Sung in: German with English Translations projected above the stage

Overview: Tamino, a prince, is lost and being chased by a serpent. He collapses where the attendants of the Queen of the Night save him. When he awakes he meets Papageno, the bird catcher, who is looking for a wife. The Queen enters and shows Tamino a picture of her daughter, Pamina, who has been captured by Sarastro. Tamino falls in love with Pamina instantly and sets off with Papageno to save her. They reach Sarastro’s temple where they find her. Tamino and Pamina declare their love for each other. Sarastro decides the two can marry, but Tamino must first successfully undergo trials. He succeeds, and Papageno finds love with Papagena. Read full synopsis.

Opera contains: magic, representation of rituals

TDO Rating: PG-8