Opening night at the opera reflects the drama and glamour of the performance itself. With grand red carpet entrances, celebrities and dignitaries in attendance dressed in formal wear and couture converge on the steps of these historic theaters to herald the beginning of the season. A challenge to get tickets, the usually sold-out events often feature a cocktail reception or seated dinner, in addition to the first performance. We share some options below for participating in the excitement.
At an Opera House in Europe
Though it holds performances throughout the fall, the season at Milan's opera house, La Scala, begins on December 7. The date is significant to the Italian city since it's the feast day of Saint Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan. For this year's opening night, La Scala will present a production of Madam Butterfly, directed by Alvis Hermanis. will feature Anna Netrebko on select nights.
One thing to note about opening night at La Scala is that audiences fervently voice their opinions about the production, creating a lively atmosphere. You may hear boos from the infamous loggionisti if the audience does not feel the performance is up to par.
Among the autumn gala premieres in 2016, the Paris Opera presents the baroque Eliogabalo on September 14 at the Opera Bastille. The Royal Opera House season at London's Covent Garden opens on September 12 with a new production of Norma. And Wagner's Tristan und Isolde will be the opener for the 2016-2017 season at Teatro dell'Opera in Rome on November 27 with Daniele Gatti conducting.
If you're not planning to visit Europe this fall, you still have other options for experiencing opening night.
During the opening night performance, La Scala, tweets updates and photos from backstage. Also, the Dutch National Opera and Vienna State Opera will broadcast their performances online.
In a Movie Theater
The Royal Opera House's production of Norma will be broadcast in HD in theaters worldwide.