It is not a remote art form that only the initiated appreciate - it reflects human conflicts and passions. It has inspired a level of devotion in some people best compared to that of a die-hard sports fan. Just as you do not need to know every statistic to enjoy watching a football game, you do not need to be a music or opera expert to enjoy our performances. Of course, the more you know, the more there is to enjoy. With that in mind we provide ways for you to learn more about the opera you are attending.
- Supertitles - Real-time English translations are above the stage, providing immediate understanding of what is happening, helping you to experience the excitement of the performance no matter what the language.
- Programs - We provide a free program with your opera ticket to guide you through the plot and introduce you to the performers.
- Email up-dates - Provide us with your email address when you purchase your ticket and we will send you a complete opera plot a week before the performance.
- Pre-performance Introductions - These introductions (available on selected performance dates) are free for ticket holders and begin 1 hour and 15 minutes before the start of the opera. Seating is on a first-come basis.
How to get tickets
Many of our performances sell out, but others still have excellent seats available. The best way to buy tickets is to order them over the phone (941-366-8450, ext. 1). We recommend you call our Box Office and discuss your plans with them. We want you to receive the best seats possible and are happy to work with you to achieve this goal. Wheelchair seating is available
For the summer, the Box Office phones are open Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM, or you can visit them in person on Monday, Wednesday or Fridays, 10 AM to 4 PM. Please note that the Box Office is closed on holidays. In the fall the Box Office is open Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM, and until the first intermission on the day of a show.
About your seats
With just under 1,200 seats, there are no 'bad' seats in our theater. Most opera companies perform in theaters four or five times larger than ours. Most opera-goers love attending opera in our theater because of its intimate size.
What to Wear
Dress comfortably, and be yourself. Opera is not the playground of the rich, and we work hard to make sure that everyone feels at home in our theater. However, many people consider a night at the opera (especially an opening night) a real event and choose to dress up. At the Sarasota Opera House, "Opera Dress" can be khakis or jeans or evening gowns and tuxedos. The only exception is the Opening Night Gala, which is usually black-tie.
At the opera, unlike the symphony or other classical music concert, you can applaud when the performance moves you (similar to a solo at a jazz performance).
Eating and drinking
Food and drinks are available prior to the show and during intermissions.
Your fellow opera-goers will appreciate it very much if you unwrap noisy candy wrappers before the show. They tend to get very cranky if you make noise during the performance!
Smoking is not permitted in any of the Sarasota Opera House buildings or in the Donna Wolf Steigerwaldt Courtyard.
Parking in downtown Sarasota can be a challenge, but we make it easy with our complementary valet service. There are also two public parking garages within a short walk to the Sarasota Opera House. Please see the Parking page for more detailed information.
How Long is it?
Operas generally run approximately 3 hours, including intermissions. More specific run times will be provided as the season approaches.