Opera might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about family activities, but it could be a great way to introduce your kids to classical music and theater. Lots of people assume they don’t like opera as adults because they were never introduced to it as children. Taking your kids while they’re still young could instill a life-long love of music and culture in their hearts. However, if you don’t prepare for your trip to the opera, it could very well be a disaster. So, take a look at these tips to ensure your kids have the best time possible.
Book in advance
It’s always a good idea to book your opera tickets online and in advance. Productions can be incredibly popular and the last thing you want is for your kids to be disappointed because you couldn’t get through the door. Booking online can also reduce the amount of queuing you have to do. Instead of waiting to buy a ticket at the ticket office, you’ll be able to beat the line and get through the door more quickly. You’ll also already have your seats, so you can head to the right part of the theater without waiting around too much. If there’s anything kids hate, it’s waiting around with nothing to do, so making your experience as smooth as possible is key to their enjoyment.
Find a child-friendly production
Some operas will be incredibly boring and hard to follow for little ones, so it’s important that you choose the production you attend carefully. Do some research online and find out which operas are best for children. You may even want to ask for recommendations from friends and family who have also taken their kids to see a show. Some popular operas for all ages include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment. If your children are very young, it may be worth looking into operas specifically made for children, which may be easier to follow and shorter.
Explain what opera is at home
If you take your children to the opera without explaining what they’re about to see, they might be very confused and start to get restless. While opera on the TV or radio is nowhere near as good as the real thing, it can be a good idea to give kids a little introduction in an environment where they’re comfortable. This way you can answer any questions and offer commentary that builds their excitement.
Get dressed up
These days you don’t need to get dressed up to go to the opera, but your children might enjoy the thrill of wearing a sparkly dress or bow tie. Getting dressed up, especially if it’s not something you normally do, can make the opera seem like an exciting, special occasion that will live in your children’s memories for many years.
The opera is an amazing experience for all ages, so why not take your kids next time you go?