Frequently Asked Questions
Be sure to see our Opera 101 as well!
Where is the AT&T Performing Arts Center?
The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center is located between Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Ross Avenue at the eastern end of the Arts District, next door to the Meyerson Symphony Center. Click here for more specific directions, or click here to find us on Google Maps.
Where do we park to access the Winspear Opera House?
Limited underground parking beneath the Winspear is available in the Lexus Red Garage. At TDO performances, self parking is $15 and Valet parking is $25. Reserved parking is available as a benefit to our Inner Circle members. Limited handicap parking spaces are also available for the $15 self-parking rate during performances. Parking is also available at One Arts Plaza, just a short walk away from the Winspear. Prices range from $5-$15 per vehicle.
For more information and a parking map, see Directions and Parking.
I’d rather not drive — can I use public transportation?
Yes, indeed! Whether you’re coming from far North Dallas or the other side of the Trinity River, you can arrive at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House by DART rail, exiting at the Pearl Street DART station located just a few short blocks from the Grand Portico.
Where can we get something to eat or drink before the performance?
Most operas last an entire afternoon or evening. While a variety of food and drinks are served at the Winspear, it’s a good idea to eat beforehand, if you have the time. For more substantial fare, we can recommend several local restaurants that have given outstanding support to the Dallas Opera: Salum and Komali on Cole Ave; Ocean Prime and The Capital Grille in nearby Uptown; Jorge’s, and Tei An in One Arts Plaza, just a block away from the Winspear.
We got here early. What is there to do?
Congratulate yourself! You’ll be cool, calm and collected when the curtain goes up. The Dallas Opera offers a FREE pre-opera talk in Hamon Hall one hour prior to each performance (except for the season opening night performance of Great Scott). Pre-performance dining options are located at nearby One Arts Plaza, in Uptown and elsewhere within the Arts District. Be sure to take a stroll in the Grand Lobby and the Grand Portico, or check out the activity in nearby Annette Strauss Square, or Sammons Park. People-watching is a traditional part of opera-going!
How should I dress for the Opera?
Business attire is the norm for opera, but anything goes, from jeans to your favorite evening gown! You’ll see more formal attire on opening night and at Saturday night performances; the mid-week performance and Sunday matinees tend to be a bit more casual. However, the rule of thumb is simple: Dress for the experience you want to have. If it makes you feel like a million bucks, wear it; after all, for some people, part of the fun is dressing up!
We’re not sure we can get there on time. Is this a problem?
We regret to inform you that there is no late seating for any performance of The Dallas Opera. This is a courtesy to both the singers and other members of the audience. If you should happen to arrive after the opera has begun, you can watch the performance on a closed-circuit television monitor, located in Hamon Hall, until first intermission. In order to get the most out of your opera experience, it is really important to arrive prior to curtain time. Evening performances typically begin at 7:30 PM and matinées at 2:00 PM, but sometimes earlier if the opera is long. For details, consult your performance’s page here.
Can I purchase a ticket at the door?
Usually seats are available at the door unless the performance is already sold-out. For additional information, contact the friendly Dallas Opera Ticket Services staff at 214.443.1000 and, of course, you can buy advance tickets online, by phone, or in person at the box office.
I have an extra ticket, what can I do with it?
Bring a friend, neighbor, coworker or family member and treat them to a fabulous new experience! If that simply isn’t possible, you are welcome to donate your extra ticket for a tax deduction equal to the amount you paid. Tickets can be donated up to one hour prior to curtain. You can call the ticket office at 214-443-1000 during regular office hours or leave a message at 214-443-1005 after hours. The receipt for your ticket donation will be mailed to you in January.
Are the operas performed in English?
Not unless it was originally composed in English. The Dallas Opera traditionally performs operas in their original languages. English translations (called supertitles) are projected above the stage throughout every performance. The supertitles are used even when the opera is sung in English. You’ll never be left in the dark!
How long will the performance last?
It depends on the production. In general, you can expect an opera to last between two-and-a-half and three hours, including intermissions. Works by certain composers, like Richard Wagner, can run longer. For details, consult your performance’s page here.
Where can I find out more about this opera?
Start here or ask at your local library. And welcome to the incredible world of opera!
What about after we take our seats?
First and foremost, relax! It’s time to let go of the stresses and strains of the day and reward yourself. Some people like to take the minutes before a performance to share an intimate conversation with their seatmate. Others prefer to look over the program book, read the synopsis or articles designed to enhance the opera-going experience, or find out how many intermissions they can expect. Please don’t forget to turn off your cellphone, and if you plan to have a lozenge or hard candy handy to soothe a ticklish throat, now’s the time to fish it out of your pocket or purse and unwrap it.
When should I applaud?
For an opera singer, the only thing better than giving a great performance, is to be acknowledged by an appreciative audience. However, your applause needs to wait until the performer has finished singing. If in doubt, hold your applause until the people around you begin to clap. If you are extra enthusiastic about what you’ve just heard, feel free to shout “Bravo!” if the singer is a man, and “Brava!” for a lady. Of course, there is always applause at the end of each act and opportunities for curtain calls, stamping, whistling and standing ovations at the end of each opera. Go for it!
Is it okay to laugh?
Yes, certainly, if it’s funny!
What if I have to leave the auditorium during the performance?
Please try to do so as discreetly and quietly as possible, for the sake of other patrons. And be aware that once you have left the auditorium, we cannot allow you to return until the next intermission; however, you are welcome to sit and view the performance on a closed-circuit monitor in Hamon Hall.
What can we expect at intermission?
Intermissions at The Dallas Opera are twenty minutes long, unless the program indicates otherwise. You are encouraged to purchase additional tickets at the box office (open during the first intermission) or relax and enjoy a drink with your friends. Announcements will let you know that the intermission is ending and it’s time to turn off your phone and return to your seat. Once the doors are closed, you will not be allowed to enter the performance hall.
How will we know when the opera is over?
There are two clues to watch for: a wild outpouring of applause, cheers, and whistles and — simultaneously — the sight of select audience members sprinting up the aisles at the speed of light. If you feel elated following the performance, show it! Now’s your chance to cheer, whistle and stomp to your heart’s content! The artists love it, of course.
Tell us more about the new opera house.
Designed by Foster + Partners under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster, the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House has been engineered specifically for opera and musical theater performances as well as having special stage design for ballet and other forms of dance. For more information, visit the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s website.