Bringing Kids to the Opera

The TDO Ticket Office frequently gets asked, “Can I bring my child to the opera?” While there are lots of factors that determine whether your child is ready to enjoy an evening or afternoon at the opera, TDO has put a few guidelines together to help you determine when it is time to bring your child to a performance of the Dallas Opera.

Page iconDownload a printable copy to go!

Recommended Age for Opera

TDO recommends children under the age of 6 do not attend main stage opera performances. Most operas are over 2-1/2 hours, and it is quite frequent that the 1st act of an opera can be over 1 hour. It is a long time to sit quietly. Even the best-behaved children (and sometimes adults) have trouble sitting through an entire performance.

TDO would recommend one of our Family Performances which are about 45 minutes in length for children under 6 years of age.

Late Seating Policy at the Opera

TDO has a No Late Seating Policy (Family Performances excluded). If you arrive late to a performance, you will not be able to take to your seat until the next intermission. This policy also covers patrons who leave during the performance. If for some reason your child needs to leave the performance, you will not be able to return until the intermission.

TDO does offer a late screening area where patrons can view the performance on a screen.

Tickets for Children

Everyone, regardless of age, who attends a performance of the Dallas Opera must purchase a ticket to the performance. Children will not be permitted into the performance hall without a ticket (even if they plan to sit on your lap).

TDO does offer Student Tickets starting 90 minutes prior to every performance. Student tickets are $25 and $50 best -available tickets and can only be purchased the day of the performance at the box office in the Winspear Opera House. Learn more about the Student Rush Program.

What do I wear to the opera?

TDO suggests that you dress for the experience you want to have at the opera. So if you want to make it an elegant evening out, get dressed up. If you are enjoying a family outing on a Sunday afternoon, dress comfortably. Either way it is about the experience you want to have at the opera.

How do I know if the opera is suitable for children?

Not every opera is suitable for children. Many contain adult subject matter and often depict violent themes. Since these are stage productions, it is probable that what your children would see on the stage during an opera performance is far less graphic than most video games that they play.

To help you determine which opera to take your family, TDO has created a Parents’ Guide to the Season that overviews each of the upcoming operas and gives you an age rating.

Other things to remember when attending the opera

  • Opera is unamplified, meaning the orchestra is not electronically enhanced and the singers are not using microphones. It is important that you keep your voice down during the performance so that others around you may hear every note.
  • Good rule of thumb: if the lights are down, all talking should stop.
  • No food or drinks are allowed into the performance hall for opera performances.
  • All electronic devices should be turned off. Tweet and update your Facebook status at intermission and be sure to mention TDO.
  • There is no recording or photography allowed during the performance.
  • We really mean it when we say no late seating. Once the doors close and the performance begins, no one is allowed to enter the performance until the next intermission.