Know Before You Go

Welcome to the New Orleans Opera! 

If you’re reading this page, that means you’re considering attending an opera, and we love that! 

We care a LOT about making sure people who are newer to opera have a great experience so you come back again for another performance. 

Have a question that’s not answered here? Send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or you can email us at

Where are the performances held? 

New Orleans Opera’s main performance space is the Mahalia Jackson Theater in Armstrong Park, but we frequently have at least one other performance in alternate locations around New Orleans, including at The New Orleans Jazz Market for the first time this year.  You can also find us occasionally performing in the garden of the Opera Guild Home on Prytania Street and in local bars with our Opera on Tap program! 

The Mahalia Jackson Theater
New Orleans Opera Guild Home
New Orleans Jazz Market
Abita Brew Pub

What seat should I buy? 

That depends upon your preference!  Many audience members like to sit up close to the stage to see the expressions on the singers’ faces, experiencing all of that drama right along with the performers.  Others prefer to sit farther back so that they can see the entire stage with a single glance.  Don’t forget that we project English translations of all of the lyrics, so you may want to sit far enough back to glance up at the screen and read the captions while you’re watching the performers.  General and Artistic Director Clare Burovac’s favorite seats are in the balcony, while Board President Dwayne Littauer loves the very front row! 

Does New Orleans Opera require COVID vaccinations and masks? 

For the safety of all, face masks are encouraged at all New Orleans Opera events. We will not be checking for proof of vaccination but encourage everyone to consider the health and well-being of others when attending the opera.

Where can I buy tickets? 

You can buy online at  or call the Ticket Box Office at (504) 529-2278, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM till 4:30 PM. 

How much do tickets cost? 

Prices start at $32.00 each. Here are a few other helpful tips you should know as well: 

1. The best deal comes when you purchase a Season Subscription. Subscriptions are 35% off Single Tickets.

2. Another way to save is to buy in bulk. This can be either in the form of season tickets or in the form of group tickets, where you save 10-20% depending on the size of your group. 

3. If you’re a student on a budget, be sure to bring your student ID and get a seat for $10 in most sections of the theater.

What do I wear?

We want you to be comfortable when you join us for a performance, so dress in a way that works for you. Some people love dressing up to go out—if that’s you, do it and you’ll definitely see others dressed to the nines. If you prefer to be more casual, then you definitely won’t be the only one dressed casually, either. For our evening parties and special events though, feel free to bring on the glamour!  

When should I arrive? 

Friday’s performance starts at 7:30 pm and Sunday’s at 2:30 pm, and you are also welcome to attend the free, 30-minute pre-performance talk, starting one hour before each show. We recommend allowing plenty of time to park and get to your seat. If you’re late, you’ll be allowed in at a suitable break in the program. 

If you prefer to skip the lecture and arrive early to socialize, we’ve got a pre-performance party before every show this year, out in front of the Mahalia Jackson Theater at the fountain in the Norman Treigle Plaza. 

Should I study up before I go? 

You can do as much or as little as you like!  The great thing about opera is that you can join without any preparation. The English captions provide all of the storytelling, so you can follow along without knowing anything in advance. If you want to study up ahead of time, we have multiple ways to help you do that: 

  1. The pre-performance talk starts one hour before the performance, is free to concert attendees, and lasts about 30 minutes, so you have a half hour after the lecture and before the performance to get a drink, use the restroom, mingle, etc. During the talk, the lecturer will talk about the performance history of the work, the composer and librettist, and why this opera was chosen for the season.  You’ll also get many interesting tidbits about what was going on when the opera was written. (For example, did you know that Rossini wrote The Barber of Seville in just three weeks?)
  1. Look for links on the performance page on this website, which will include a synopsis of the story, links to the artist’s websites, clips to preview the music, and student study guides that include playlists. 

Will you be handing out programs? 

There will be programs available at the door of the Mahalia Jackson Theater.

How long is an opera? 

Operas can be as short as 30 minutes and as long as five hours! But most of our performances are three hours or less – shorter than watching any of The Lord of the Rings films. Our website will include information about the approximate running time of each opera, including the number of intermissions and their approximate length.  But don’t let the longer operas intimidate you – you’ll find that the time flies by! 

Where do I park? 

Parking is available within Armstrong Park for $20 cash per car.  If you prefer not to drive, consider taking an Uber or Lyft – the cars will drop you right at the theater entrance! 

Will there be wine or beer?*  

Absolutely!  How can we have a gathering in New Orleans without libations? 

Wine, beer, sodas, and snacks will be available to purchase at the bars on multiple levels of the theater.  Please join us for the pre-show gathering at the fountain in front of the theater to meet your fellow opera-goers and have a drink before the show. You’re welcome to bring your beverage into the theater if you don’t finish it before curtain time! 

*Refreshment purchase is not available for Student Night Out. 

What about Student Night Out? 

Student Night Out is for participating students and their chaperones to attend the final dress rehearsal for each opera.

If you are joining us for Student Night Out, we want you to have the best backstage experience possible and welcome you to rehearsals like one of the crew!   

Parking is free during student dress rehearsals.  

Enter the gated Mahalia Jackson parking lot through the Basin Street entrance. Once your group is gathered, make your way to the front of the theater (toward the fountain). Enter through the designated glass door along the driveway.   

We are here to answer the questions you may have about the opera, where things are, and what to expect. This is a working rehearsal, so try to keep noise to a minimum when/if the director or technical crew stops to give notes or adjust. But it is a show! We want you to laugh, clap, and enjoy the action on stage. Unfortunately, this is a rehearsal, and snacks and beverages are not for sale. But you are welcome to bring bottled water into the theater. Please discard your rubbish in a receptacle at the intermission or the end of the rehearsal. 

Click here to read more about Student Night Out.

What is the Safety and Security Policy?

The security process is a condition of entry. Any refusal or the use of abusive, threatening, or discriminatory remarks will result in access being refused.

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