Experience State Opera

Whether you are a newcomer or an opera lover,
we promise your night at the opera will be a memorable and magical experience.

A Night To Remember

New to opera? Welcome – we’re glad you’re joining us!

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions we receive from new patrons about attending an opera production:

I don’t speak a foreign language. How will I know what they’re singing about?

Some of our productions are sung in English. However, for productions sung in other languages, we project English subtitle translations above the stage during performances.  Just look up, and you’ll know exactly what’s going on.

Where shall I park?

Our venue information gives you information about parking, particularly at the Adelaide Festival Theatre, which has some parking restrictions while development work is underway.

Venue Information

What should I wear?

The simple answer is, wear what’s comfortable for you. If you prefer to wear casual attire, that’s fine. If you want to take the opportunity to dress in your very best, that’s OK, too.

When do I clap?

It’s customary to clap for singers after a major solo (also called an aria), as well as at the end of an act or scene and at the very end of the performance. If you’re unsure, just follow the lead of the audience members around you.

How long is the opera?

Production times vary, but most performances last between 2-3 hours. You can find an approximate performance time included with information for each performance.

Can I read the story in advance?

Yes! Reading about the story of each opera in advance is a great way to get the most out of any performance. We provide synopses of each production, to help you understand what’s going on.  Don’t forget each performance has English surtitle translations above the stage during performances.


Can I take pictures?

You are welcome to take pictures of the hall and sets prior to the performance, during intermission and after the production. Taking photos or videos during the performance is not allowed.

How much should I allow to arrive on time?

Plenty!  We recommend you arrive as early as you can, to find the venue, park, buy a programme, enjoy a free Pre-Performance talk (when applicable), and relax and have a drink before the performance.  There’s nothing worse than rushing to ruin what should be a very enjoyable night.

What if I arrive late?

No problem.  There are certain times in each performance (usually at the end of the overture) when latecomers can take their seat.  The front of house staff will guide you on these times.

Can my children attend?

Sometimes, yes. Please check the details of each performance to check age appropriateness.

Can I take food and drink into the venue?

No food or drink is allowed in the seating area of the Adelaide Festival Theatre.  Drinks are allowed in the seating area of the Opera Studio.

What else should I know?

Please turn off any mobile phones, watch alarms, pagers and other devices prior to the performance and remain quiet once the music begins so others can hear. If you need to speak to a companion for any reason during the performance, please whisper and respect your fellow audience members.

Festival Theatre

King William Street, Adelaide

Accessible seating is available in the Stalls and Row W. Festival Theatre is also dog friendly.

Hearing Aid Loop
Hearing aid loops and hearing assistance is available in restricted seats. Please mention when booking.

The Festival Centre car park is currently unavailable due to major upgrades. There are many other options in the immediate vicinity including Wilsons on Hindley St; Adelaide Convention Centre; Wilsons at Adelaide Oval and the Myer Centre on North Terrace.


Public Transport
The Festival Theatre is easily accessible by public transport, including the tram (stop at Railway Station), trains, buses and a free bus service that operates on a loop throughout the city. From the railway station, head east on North Terrace to King William Street to reach the Theatre.

The Opera Studio

216 Marion Road, Netley

Accessible seating is available for all performances.

Free parking is available at the venue.

Want to hire the Opera Studio?
Please contact Debra Pahl on 08 8226 4752 or submit your enquiry via our contact form here.

What’s Nearby

Pre-show Dining
Pre-show dining is available for evening performances in the Festival Theatre with a 7.30pm or 8pm start time. Available at The Bistro, overlooking the River Torrens, for just $35, pre-show dining is available from 2 hours prior to these performances.

Book here

Restaurants & Bars
The Festival Theatre is in a perfect location to access Adelaide’s CBD, which hosts world-leading and award-winning restaurants and bars.

More dining options

Dessert Bars
If you’re looking for a late-night dessert following your evening performance, check out these great dessert bars in Adelaide.



Why not make a really great night of it & stay over in the city?

There are endless high-quality accommodation options near the Festival Theatre –
from boutique hotels, luxury hotels, apartments, motels and bed and breakfasts.

Find Accommodation