Bring Your Kids

Opera is a thrilling, multi-faceted art form that offers something for everyone!  You can study it for a lifetime and still keep learning, but you can also hear it for the first time and be enraptured!

An opera is a compelling, emotional performance of theater told through the unique beauty of the human voice and captivating music.  But if that isn’t enough – you add in the sets and costumes.  There is so much to engage and inspire young people!

Here are a few tips to help determine when is the right time for your first opera performance and what to expect.

How old should you be?

We recommend young people who are able to sit quietly for at least an hour at a time without handheld distractions (iPads, toys, etc) attend our main stage opera performances.

For a fun opera event for younger children, we recommend our annual Sarasota Youth Opera production. These performances feature a cast of 80 to 100 young people ages 8 to 18 in operas that are written specifically for young voices to sing with imaginative stories for families to enjoy! Most Youth Operas are about an hour long and sung in English which help their accessibility for young viewers.

Are there breaks?

Depending on the opera, each performance includes one or more 15 to 20-minute intermissions.

What should we wear?

Dress comfortably and be yourself. At the Sarasota Opera House, "Opera Dress" can be khakis or jeans to evening gowns or tuxedos.

What will we find at the Opera House?

Supertitles - Real-time English translations are projected above the stage, providing an immediate understanding of what is happening.

Programs - We provide a free program with your opera ticket to guide you through the plot and introduce you to the performers.

Seats - With just under 1,200 seats, there are no 'bad' seats in our theater. Most opera goers love attending opera in our theater because of its intimate size. 

Restrooms – There are ample restrooms on the first and second floors of the Opera House. There is also a family restroom on the first floor next to the box office kiosk.

Eating and drinking - During regular performances, food, and drinks are available prior to the show and during intermissions. Remember that these cannot be brought into the Opera House!

Applause - At the opera, you can applaud when the performance moves you!

Parking - Parking in downtown Sarasota can be a challenge, but we make it easy with our complimentary valet service. For more information, visit our Parking Page.

Late Seating - If you arrive after the performance has started or leave while an act of the opera is in progress, you will need to wait until an intermission or pause to re-enter. Don’t worry; there are television monitors located in the lobby so you can continue to enjoy the performance.

Electronics - Out of consideration for our performers and patrons, we asked that all cellphones and electronic devices be turned off before the performance begins. Just like at your local movie theatre, the use of any recording devices is strictly prohibited.

How long is an opera?

Most operas are between 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours long.

How do we find out what the opera is about?

We encourage parents to review the synopsis of the opera before determining whether it is appropriate for your child to attend. 

  • The Secret Marriage synopsis here.
  • Madama Butterfly synopsis here. 
  • Don Giovanni synopsis here.
  • Ernani synopsis here.
  • Thérèse synopsis here.

If you have any questions, please contact Martha Collins, Director of Education, [email protected] / 941-328-1307

How can we explore the story before the performance?

Understanding the plot and characters before attending a performance greatly enhances the experience. We encourage families to read through the synopsis and listen to clips from the opera with their child before attending a performance.

To read through the program book click HERE. - COMING SOON

Click HERE for our Opera Basics guide with information and activities so families can explore opera at home. - COMING SOON

How can we purchase tickets?

We have several discount ticket options to make it easier for families and young people to come to the opera!

Family Group Rate for The Youth Opera Production

We have a special rate for families to see The Secret World of OG!  2 adults and up to 4 children can attend for a total price of $65.00.

Everyone, regardless of age, must purchase a ticket to the performance. Children are not permitted into the theater without a ticket, even if they plan to sit on your lap. You can purchase tickets HERE.

Student Tickets

Students under 22, with a current student ID, can purchase tickets for $15 in advance. Click here for more info.

Student and Teacher Rush Tickets

Student and teacher rush tickets are just $10 when you buy them at the lobby box office 30 minutes before a performance. Just present your current school ID to purchase your tickets.

Click here for more info. Elementary and middle school students without school IDs are still eligible.