Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | Opera Memphis

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Opera Memphis is constantly bringing in new patrons, and our seasoned guests know that every performance is different. Here are the answers to some questions we commonly receive. We hope they help you feel ready for a wonderful evening at the opera.


Where are you located?

Our performances take place at different locations including Germantown Performing Arts Center (1801 Exeter Road), Playhouse on the Square (66 Copper Street), or the new Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center (3800 Central Ave). Please consult your ticket to verify the performance location.

Our temporary office (19 S. Florence St) is not open to the public except by appointment only.  We hope to have news about our new headquarters in early 2023.


What time should I arrive?

We suggest arriving 30 to 45 minutes prior to the start of the performance. Our performances begin at the advertised start time. Late seating is available at the first appropriate break in the performance; in some cases this means being seated after intermission. In any case, please be mindful of Memphis traffic and weather conditions as you make your way to the theater.

The Opera Preludes, our conversation series presented by Opera Memphis’ artistic team, begin 1 hour before the opera start time.

What kind of parking is available?

The Germantown Performing Arts Center boasts a spacious parking lot, so parking is FREE and EASY. That said, a sold-out performance can mean that parking gets tight - another great reason to arrive early!

Playhouse on the Square is in the busy Overton Square area and has only a small on-site parking lot. We encourage patrons to park in the Overton Square Garage (2100 Monroe Ave), located less than one block from the theatre. The standard cost to park in the garage after 6:00 is $5. 


How long is this performance?

Each opera is different. Our performances at Germantown Performing Arts Center average around 2.5 hours, while other performances are each around an hour or an hour and a half long.


What should I wear?

We encourage our patrons to dress to their comfort level! If this means a tuxedo and a evening gown – go for it! If this means jeans and a blouse or casual shirt – that’s fine too! You will see all kinds and levels of dress at our events. We do suggest that anyone who tends to be cold consider bringing a sweater or jacket, as the theatre can be a bit on the chilly side.

Can I take a selfie?

YES! But only before or after the show or during intermission. Please refrain from recording or photographing during the performance. The use of electronic devices at all during the performance is strictly prohibited. Please silence and stow all cell phones.


Is my child old enough to come to an opera?

The policy at our indoor venues generally prohibits anyone under four from attending shows that are not specifically produced for family performances.  For older children, it is entirely up to your preference and knowledge of your child. If your child can sit through a full feature-length movie, she will probably be ok at the opera! Kids naturally love the spectacle of an opera. In an effort to encourage that love, we try to program at least one opera per season that is specifically crafted to be family-friendly. If you're unsure if an opera is family-friendly, just give our Box Office a call!

If you have young children, please consider purchasing seats near the aisle, as that will allow you the best access to restrooms or the lobby as needed. Any patron, child or adult, who causes a disturbance will be asked to leave the theater without a refund.

Will I understand what they’re singing?

Yes! All of our performances - even those in English - are accompanied by surtitles. What’s a surtitle, you ask? Think of the subtitles on a movie, but instead of scrolling at the bottom of the silver screen, they’re scrolling across the top of the stage. But don't worry, you don't need to carefully read every single word. Opera composers know that singing can sometimes make words difficult to understand, so they use skillful repetition to make sure we get their point.

Is it okay to applaud?

Of course! If you feel moved by the opera to do so, applause is certainly welcome. Typically, people applaud at the end of an aria (a song), and as in other performances, at the end of the performance. If you’re still not sure, applaud when others applaud if you agree.

Now to the fun part: when to say BRAVO! During bows and applause, you will no doubt hear someone shout "Bravo!" Here is your cheat sheet for when you’re ready to join the action:

Bravo (BRAH voh) – male singer

Brava (BRAH vah) – female singer

Bravi Tutti (BRAH vee TOO tee) – a whole group of singers

Are tickets sold at the door?

As long as the opera is not sold out, we do sell tickets at the door. NOTE: Our most recent operas have completely sold out before the performance date. We strongly advise you purchase your tickets ahead of time to ensure availability. We accept cash and all major credit cards, but are unable to accept checks for tickets bought on the same day as the performance. The Box Office opens an hour and a half before each performance in the lobby of the theater.

What’s the deal with student rush tickets?

Student rush tickets are $10 tickets sold in the lobby of the theater beginning one hour before each performance. You must show your student ID to receive student rush pricing. Each student ID presented is good for one ticket. Again, these tickets are only available if the show has not sold out. As a result, we cannot guarantee that groups that arrive together will be seated together, but we will do our best to seat groups together when possible. Student rush tickets are CASH ONLY. 


Will there be concessions?

At the Germantown Performing Arts Center, concessions are on sale before the performance and during intermission. Concessions available include light snacks, wine, beer, and Coca-Cola Products. 

Have a question not answered here?

Call (901) 257-3100 or email us at