First time at BLO? 2016-11-05T07:08:18+00:00


First time at BLO? Welcome!


Thinking about going to the opera? BLO’s key mission is to build curiosity and enthusiasm for the art form, so we always give a warm welcome to new faces at the theater. Thanks for checking us out!

Opera is an incredibly dynamic art form that can be enjoyed by everyone. You don’t have to wear a tux or gown. You don’t need to speak multiple languages to “get it.” While you certainly can dig in and learn a lot about the opera, you can also just enjoy the amazing entertainment that every performance offers.

Questions? Just call our Audience Services team at 617.542.6772 or email us at

First Time Tips

Explore this site to get the scoop on everything you need to know about the opera experience, from what to expect at the theater to parking to behind-the-scenes info, and check out our Opera FAQ for more information


What should I wear?

The most important thing is that you are comfortable and enjoy the performance. For some, that means dressing up for date night. For others, jeans and a polo shirt fit the bill. Bottom line: Whatever you wear, you’ll fit right in.


How will I follow the story if I don’t speak Italian (or French or German, etc.)?

Opera comes in many languages, but you’ll always be in the know because the words are projected in English on screens. BLO does this even for operas in English, so you won’t miss a beat!


I haven’t had time to read up on the opera I’m going to see. What opportunities are there to learn more the night or day of the performance?

BLO offers several ways to learn more about the opera you’re about to see! Read the articles and synopsis in your program, peruse this site and our blog on your smart phone before the show begins, or join us for our pre-performance talks and talkbacks.


Are there any “rules” I should know about?

There are no set rules of behavior for opera-going, but whenever lots of people are enjoying a live performance, distractions can be a problem. Let the opera be the center of attention—not you!

  • Disconnect, enjoy the show, and check in again at intermission.
    Make sure all electronic devices are completely off. Vibrating cell phones can be heard many rows away. Lit screens of any description are distracting to your neighbors and possibly the performers as well. Even fast-texting fingers draw eyes and ears.
  • The nose knows…
    Go easy on scented products. Many people are allergic to perfume, cologne, and even aftershave.
  • Pesky cough? Be prepared.
    Unwrap as many cough drops or candies as you may need before the curtain goes up.
  • Hear music? Stop and listen.
    If there’s an overture, it’s part of the performance. Please cease all activity and settle in for the show.
  • Make it a learning adventure for kids!
    If there are children in your party, prepare them by talking about what will happen and how they’ll be expected to behave. Try practicing at home!
  • Things that make more noise than you might think:
    Talking (even whispering)
    Singing along, humming, keeping time with any body part
    Searching for items in a purse, shopping bag, or backpack
    Chewing gum
  • Please don’t go!
    It’s tempting to get a jump on the crowd and head out early, but leaving while the show is in progress is disrespectful to the performers and distracting to audience members. Plus, you may miss something special.