First time

Is this your first time at the Festival d’opéra de Québec? Your first opera experience? Here’s some advice to make you feel at home.

There’s no dress code, so it all depends on you! Some people like to get dressed up, others are more casual. At the Festival d’opéra de Québec, there is a wide range of dress—from suit and tie to jeans and a t-shirt. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable. It is summer, after all. There is one rule, however: no shirt, no shoes, no show!

Yes! The French and English translations of what is being sung is projected onto a screen above the stage. These are called surtitles. They are part of the performance no matter which language the opera is performed in, even in French. (Louis Riel only)

It’s a complicated question, but one main difference is that opera singers don’t use microphones. Another difference: In operas everything is sung, whereas musicals have spoken dialogue between musical numbers (there are, of course, exceptions in both genres!)

If you arrive late, you must wait for a break in the performance before taking your seat. There are, however, screens outside the hall on which the opera is broadcast. If you must leave during the performance, you must wait for a break before returning to your seat.

Only if there is an emergency! If you must leave, remember that you must wait until the intermission or another time designated by the usher before returning to your seat.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to applaud, whistle, and yell “Bravo!” when you like what you hear. We do, however, suggest waiting until an aria is finished to avoid disturbing other audience members. If you’re not sure if it’s the right time to applaud, wait until other audience members do so.


Silence is strongly appreciated at the opera. Because there is no amplification, every little sound can be heard. Please use discretion when turning the pages of your program. We also suggest unwrapping your candies before the performance. Turn off all electronic devices, including watches, cellphones, pagers, and so forth and please do not whisper during the performance. This will help avoid inconvenience for you and the other members of the audience.

Of course! However, some operas contain subject matter that is quite serious or adult in nature. Before bringing children, learn more about the opera that is playing by visiting our website or calling customer service. To make your children’s experience at the opera even more enjoyable, tell them the story and play them pieces from the opera beforehand.  They will be more concentrated and attentive and will be very happy when they recognize the pieces.