Frequently Asked Questions

noun: opera; plural noun: operas

a dramatic work in one or more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists.

“it was the best performance of the opera he had ever heard”

  • opera as a genre of classical music.
    “a very grand program of opera and ballet”
  • a building for the performance of opera.
    “you will enjoy a visit to the opera”

Mid 17th century: from Italian, from Latin, literally ‘labor, work’.

There’s no dress expectation! Dress for the experience you want to have. People enjoy dressing up for the opera, especially on opening night. It’s not uncommon to see people in tuxes and gowns next to jeans and a polo and cocktail dresses; we want you to feel comfortable to attend the opera as you are.

Yes! Kentucky Opera provides a synopsis (caution, they contain spoilers) of our performances online and in the OperaBill so you have a sense of the story before the performance begins. While Kentucky Opera typically presents operas in their original language, English captions are provided for most performances.

Be sure to give yourself time to travel to the theatre and find a parking spot (click the appropriate link below for parking information).

The lobby at the Brown Theatre will open 60 minutes prior to curtain, with the theatre opening 30 minutes prior. Once you’ve arrived, concessions will be available for your enjoyment.

The Opera Center lobby and theatre will open 60 minutes prior to the performance. Once you’ve arrived, concessions will be available for your enjoyment.

Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting or calling our box office at 708 Magazine Street 502.584.4500, or online at

Depending on availability, you can still purchase tickets the day of the opera! The box office for both The Brown Theatre and the Opera Center open 1 hour prior to the performance.

Latecomers or patrons who leave the theatre after the performance has started will be allowed into the theatre at an appropriate break in the performance or at intermission, at the discretion of management.

We sure hope so! Kentucky Opera is dedicated to presenting high quality performances, from traditional to modern, all with relevant themes and stories. Kentucky Opera brings in artists from all across the country, plus local performers, all accompanied by a live orchestra. We recommend reading more about each of the operas we perform on our website, or a quick Google search. Give a listen to some of the music via your favorite music streaming service. There are so many different operas, so one experience can be different from the next. If you still have questions, our Box Office personnel will be happy to provide more information.

During the opera feel free to applaud after a solo or a small ensemble number. Enthusiastic displays of appreciation are always appreciated – but if you’re not sure when, follow the crowd. Shouts of “bravo” are welcome if you really enjoyed a performance. If you really hated something, you could boo or hiss, but you may not make any new friends doing that.

Depends on the opera! Just like in movies or television, operas may contain themes that may not be suitable for all ages. We recommend reading more about the opera you’re interested in seeing, and make the judgement that best fits you and your family. If you’re unsure, feel free to call our Box Office for recommendations.

Children will enjoy the experience much more if you prepare them ahead of time by telling them the story and playing them some of the music.

All patrons regardless of age must have a ticket to ensure capacity and fire code in our venues. No lap seating is permitted, thank you for your cooperation.

Remember to silence or turn off your phone, watch alarm, or other electronic devices that may make noise.

During the performance please refrain from:

  • Talking or whispering, even during the overture;
  • Rustling through your program, pockets, or purse;
  • Unwrapping cough drops or hard candies;
  • Recording or photography;
  • Singing or humming along.

Some individuals have a sensitivity to the chemicals used in colognes and perfumes. In consideration of our artists, employees, and patrons, please refrain from using strong fragrances. Additionally, strong fragrances may negatively affect our singing artists.

There are many dining options downtown and concessions are served in the lobby. Drinks are allowed in the theatre, but food is not.