Read on for the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions! Have a question not addressed here? Just give our friendly Patron Services team a call at 303.468.2030, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions About…
Attending the Opera
Is there a Lost & Found?
If you’ve lost something at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, contact Denver Arts & Venues at 720.865.4220.
What options do you offer for patrons with disabilities or special needs?
Please see our Accessibility page.
How can I learn about the opera before I see a performance?
Visit each opera’s event page in the days leading up to a performance to read articles and interviews about the opera and its cast, see photos from rehearsal, watch behind-the-scenes videos and trailers, , and more. Also be sure to follow Opera Colorado on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube; bookmark our blog; and subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest information!
Or, join us one hour prior to each performance at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House of a free and insightful pre-performance discussion led by opera historian Betsy Schwarm.
Can I bring kids to a performance?
Opera is so powerful because it reflects universal themes—which means some operas contain mature subject matter, such as adultery, revenge, or death. Even operatic comedies can frequently have suggestive humor. We recommend reading the plot beforehand and using your own judgement as to whether it’s appropriate for your family. Also consider your child’s maturity level, and whether they’d be comfortable sitting quietly for long periods of time. All that being said, we do love introducing children to opera and welcome well-behaved kiddos. But please be aware that all children must have their own ticket (no lap sitting).
When should I applaud? Can I cheer?
Opera fans love to show their appreciation for the artists on stage and in the orchestra pit, so if you’re unsure of when to applaud or cheer, just take your cues from your fellow patrons. Generally, however, the audience applauds when the conductor enters the orchestra pit just before the start of the performance; after a particularly moving or exciting aria (aka: a solo piece) or small ensemble piece (duets, quartets, etc.); and at the end of acts.
You might also hear shouts of “Brava,” “Bravo,” or “Bravi” (to compliment a woman, man, or group, respectively) after an exceptionally good performance, or during the bows after the performance. Feel free to join in!
Do you sing in English? How will I know what’s happening?
Our mainstage operas are almost always sung in the piece’s original language—which could be anything from English to Italian to Czech. You can find language information on the opera’s event page, but you don’t need to stress about a language barrier, as every seat at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House has a personal subtitling system with translations available in both English and Spanish. Plus, we print a full synopsis in each program book. You’ll find that spoilers aren’t a big problem with opera; so many of these stories will be familiar to you already, and many people find that knowing the plot in advance helps them appreciate the performance even more.
Are food and drinks available at performances?
Yes. Full service, on-site dining is available pre-show at Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House (click here for menu info and reservations). Light snacks and a full bar are also available pre-show and during intermissions on the Lobby and Loge levels. Please note, however, that only water is allowed inside the theater, so you’ll need to finish your food and drinks before taking your seat.
Pro tip: pre-order your drinks so you can skip the long lines during intermission. Just go to any bar at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House before the start of the performance, pay for your order in advance, and your drinks will be waiting for you as soon as you exit the theater for intermission.
How long are performances? Are there intermissions?
Timing varies by opera, but is generally between two to three hours for mainstage performances, including at least one intermission. You can find run times and intermission detail on the opera’s event page, or call our Patron Services team at 303.468.2030. Timing will also be included in the pre-performance email we send ticketbuyers a day or two before the event (check your spam/junk folders!).
Where should I park, and how much does it cost?
Convenient, on-site garage parking is usually available for an event rate of $10-15, although prices can vary. For parking details and advisories, click here.
How early should I arrive?
Performances start on time, all the time—and Opera Colorado does not offer refunds or exchanges for late arrivals or missed performances. Latecomers will be seated at the earliest possible break in the performance; for some performances, this may not be until the first intermission. So arriving 45-60 minutes in advance of your performance is wise, to allot time for parking, picking up any tickets at Will Call, going through security at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and finding your seat. The on-site Box Office and the venue’s doors both open 90 minutes before the start of the performance.
Is there a dress code?
Nope! You’ll see a range of attire at any Opera Colorado performance—from cowboy boots to stiletto heels, and polo shirts to tuxedo jackets. Many of our patrons would say they like to dress “Colorado Fancy,” which often means a comfortable dress with a cardigan, or slacks with a button-up shirt. Then again, we have other patrons who view a night at the opera as the perfect excuse to wear their most fabulous outfit. If you’re looking for a particularly glam experience, we recommend Opening Night as the performance when the ball gowns and black-tie are most likely to come out. (But you wouldn’t be the only one in a nice pair of jeans, we promise.)
Tickets & Box Office
Can I purchase Opera Colorado tickets at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House?
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver, and not by Opera Colorado. You can only purchase Opera Colorado tickets at the Ellie on the day of an Opera Colorado performance, beginning 90 minutes prior to the performance start time.
The rest of the year, in-person purchases can be made only at the Opera Colorado Opera Center in Englewood, CO, from Monday–Friday, 10 am–5 pm. You can also purchase tickets by phone at 303.468.2030, or online at operacolorado.org.
Where can I purchase Opera Colorado tickets online?
Tickets are available for sale 24/7 at operacolorado.org. Only very rarely are legitimate Opera Colorado tickets available on a third-party website. More often than not, third-party sites claiming to sell tickets to Opera Colorado are reselling tickets at a significant price increase, with unnecessary fees. And, sometimes, the tickets are phonies and not actually valid for entry to a performance.
Please be extremely cautious when purchasing tickets from a third-party source, whether that’s a large-scale ticket broker or an individual seller on Craigslist, Facebook, etc. If in doubt, call Opera Colorado’s Patron Services team at 303.468.2030 to verify the legitimacy of a third-party website before you buy. Unfortunately, Opera Colorado cannot be held responsible for invalid, fraudulent, or overpriced tickets, nor can we offer refunds or replacements in such instances.
Do you sell tickets for other events at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House or Denver Performing Arts Complex?
No. Opera Colorado only sells tickets to Opera Colorado events. Although we are a resident company of the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the DPAC and its venues (including the Ellie Caulkins Opera House) are owned and operated by the City and County of Denver. Many organizations make use of these beautiful venues, and tickets for events should be purchased from the presenting company:
- Opera Colorado: 303.468.2030 or operacolorado.org
- Colorado Ballet: 303.837.8888 or coloradoballet.org
- Colorado Symphony: 303.623.7876 or coloradosymphony.org
- Denver Center for the Performing Arts: 303.893.4100 or denvercenter.org
- Denver Arts & Venues: 888.929.7849 or axs.com
Do you offer refunds or exchanges?
How can I replace lost or stolen tickets?
How can I donate my tickets back to Opera Colorado?
What’s the difference between Price Classes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5? Where are these seats located in the theater?
Please see our Seat Map page.
What is the 10% tax being added to my ticket purchase?
The City and County of Denver mandates a 10% facilities development admissions tax be added to the purchase price of each admission to any entertainment, amusement, or athletic event, or any other production or assembly that is staged, produced, convened, or held in or on any City-owned or leased property. This tax is commonly referred to as the “seat tax.”
Opera Colorado adds this required tax during the checkout process. You can view your total cost before paying when purchasing online; when purchasing tickets by phone or in person, our Patron Services representatives will always confirm your final cost with you prior to finalizing your order.
Do you offer discount tickets?
We routinely offer only these options for discounted tickets:
1) For subscribers, who automatically save 25% off single-ticket prices by purchasing a two-opera subscription, and receive 15% off additional tickets and select other Opera Colorado events
2) For groups of 10 or more people, who can receive 10-15% off tickets, depending on their performance date
3) For students, who can take advantage of $20 Student Rush tickets
4) For active-duty military, who can receive 15% off tickets (call 303.468.2030 to purchase)
To be the first to know about special promotions, please join Opera Colorado’s email list. However, please be aware that many of our tickets begin at just $25, and our most affordable seats can quickly sell out. Our best tip is to purchase early!
Are you part of the DPAC or DCPA?
Not quite. These two acronyms are frequently—and incorrectly—used interchangeably, and often confused with Opera Colorado.
The Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver and the home of ten downtown performance spaces, including the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Opera Colorado is proud to be one of the four resident companies—along with the Colorado Ballet, Colorado Symphony, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA)—who are tenants of DPAC venues. However, each resident company is its own independent arts organization, although we often perform in the same beautiful venues.
Where are your offices located?
As of December 2017, our administrative offices and rehearsal studio are located under one roof at the new Opera Colorado Opera Center in Englewood, CO. This is also where you can find us, year-round, for in-person ticket sales. Please visit our Contact Us page for more information.
What are your season dates? How many performances do you present?
Our season runs fall through spring—roughly September through May—with summers off. Each season is anchored by several performances of two large-scale opera productions, each at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House (one in November, one in May). We also offer a winter chamber opera as part of our Scene Change initiative, in which we produce a new or contemporary work in an intimate venue outside of our usual opera house setting. Finally, we round out each season with several intimate recitals, artist meet-and-greet events, panel discussions, educational offerings, and more. Please visit our Calendar for a full lineup of upcoming events.
Do you have any job openings, upcoming auditions, or volunteer opportunities?
Visit our Jobs & Auditions page for any available job listings or audition opportunities.
We’re also always looking for great volunteers! Learn more here.
Is Opera Colorado a non-profit organization?
Yes. We are a 501(c)(3) organization. Our tax ID number is 84-0850527.