Rules and regulation at the opera

Visiting the Opera

What should I wear to the Latvian National Opera?
Each opera and ballet is a celebration in itself – that’s why we recommend dressing up! The etiquette for opening nights and special events is to wear a dark suit. But the performers and even other guests to the opera always enjoy seeing people dressed up at every opera or ballet performance.

How should I behave at the National Opera?
We ask that everyone respect the performers as well as other guests to the opera, particularly during the performance: be polite, don’t talk during the performance or make excess noise. Food and beverages are prohibited in the hall. In the front row seats, please refrain from leaning against the velvet trim to avoid obstructing the view for the spectators behind you.

Can I use my mobile phone during the performance?
We ask that all mobile phones and electronic devices be switched off during the performance. The lights and/or sounds from such devices are disruptive to fellow audience members. Mobile phones are permitted for use solely for the needs of the subtitles’ application OPERA titri.

What time should I arrive for the performance?
We urge guests to arrive early; all performances start on time, and there is no admittance to the performance hall after the third bell so as to avoid disrupting the performers and other guests. Guests to the National Opera are invited to stop in to Café Opera, which opens an hour before the start of the respective performance, and where guests can enjoy a variety of snacks, coffee, wine, and other beverages.

Do I have to pay to use the coat check?
We ask guests to leave their coats, hats, large purses or bags at the coat check – ushers standing at the doors to the performance hall are happy to help direct you to the coat check! Coat checks are located on every floor, and are available for guests free of charge. Please don’t leave your belongings unattended, or bring personal valuables to the National Opera. The LNOB administration is not responsible for items forgotten at the coat checks.

What do the words “pa labi” (“right”) and “pa kreisi” (“left”) on the tickets mean?
These words on your ticket indicate whether your seat is to the right or left of the stage. Please follow the signs posted at the entrances to the performance hall! If you need help finding your seat, the ushers posted at the doors to the performance hall are happy to help you.

How many minutes are left before the performance starts after the first, second, and third bells?
The first bell is at 10 minutes before the start of the performance. The second bell is at 5 minutes before the performance; the third bell at only 2 minutes before the start of the performance. During intermission, the first bell is at 5 minutes before the start of the next act. That time flies quickly, though, especially if you’re engaged in conversation over a nice glass of wine. There is no admittance to the performance hall after the third bell, so be sure to make it back to your seat before then!

What happens if we show up a little late?
If you arrive after the performance has already started, you will only be admitted to your seat during intermission. If you do arrive late, you can still watch the performance from the Second Balcony gallery, or on the TV monitor in Café Opera.

Are children welcome at the Latvian National Opera?
There is no admittance for pre-school aged children to adult matinee performances or evening performances. Children three years of age and up are welcome to attend family-friendly performances in the Great Hall and educational programmes in the New Hall. The event "Concert for Babies" is suitable also for younger children. You can find more information on children’s tickets HERE. We recommend talking to your child in advance about the performance itself, as well as how they (and you!) should behave while at the opera.

Several of the performances held at the Latvian National Opera are not recommended for pre-school-aged or primary-school-aged children! Before buying tickets, please consider whether the respective performance will be a great experience, or a trial and error for your patience, as well as your child’s.

Where can I get a programme?

Programmes are available for purchase from the ushers. Programmes may be purchased before performances, as well as during intermission. Purchase of programmes is possible only with contactless methods of payment (contactless payment cards, smartphone (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.), smart watch, smart ring, etc.).

Will I understand what the artists are singing?

Opera performances are performed in their original languages, such as Italian, French, Czech, etc. Translations of the libretto into Latvian and English are provided in the form of surtitles on a special board directly above the stage. If the visibility of the board from your seat is limited, we invite you to use the subtitle application OPERA titri on your mobile device. Detailed information about the application you can find HERE.

What do I do if I want to present a performer with flowers?

If you would like to present flowers to any of our artists, please turn them over to our service personnel upon entering the Opera House. Please leave a card or note indicating the name and surname of the performer. We will make sure that the artist in question gets them.  

Is the LNO handicap-accessible?
The historical LNO building has been outfitted with a lift, making the building handicap-accessible.

Guests arriving in wheelchairs can call ahead to reserve a place in the performance hall specifically intended for wheelchair seating for a special price. Guests accompanying a guest in a wheelchair can acquire a ticket with a 50% discount. Tickets for wheelchair seating must be purchased at the LNO box office; please inform the cashier at the time of purchase that the ticket is intended for wheelchair seating. The cashier will inform the LNO Customer Service Department, which will ensure a place is reserved for the guest at the respective performance. On the day of the performance, please see the porter on arrival to be shown to the handicap-accessible doors and assisted to your seat.

Detailed information about tickets and access to the LNO building for wheelchair users you can read HERE.

Is photography allowed during a performance?
All manner of photography, video recordings and audio recordings are strictly forbidden during all performances!

Are pets allowed into the National Opera?
Pets are not allowed in the Latvian National Opera.

Can I bring food or drinks into the performance hall?
No. Food and beverages are prohibited inside the performance hall.

Can I unwrap and eat a throat lozenge during the performance?
Please eat throat lozenges or other hard candies before the performance or at intermission to avoid disrupting the performers and other guests with the crinkling of wrappers or other product packaging.

Is kissing allowed during the performance?
It’s wonderful if the performance moves you and elicits strong emotions, but we would prefer that any stronger displays of affection be reserved for a less public setting either before or after the performance.

What should I do if I absolutely need to leave the hall during the performance?
It’s best to consider your options ahead of time and do everything you can to help ensure nothing will detract from your enjoyment of the performance! However, if you absolutely need to leave the performance hall, please do so quietly and without disturbing other guests. In turn, you will be able to re-enter the performance hall at intermission. You can always watch the rest of the first act from the Second Balcony gallery, or on the TV monitor in Café Opera.

Are we allowed to applaud during the performance?
During opera and ballet performances it is customary to applaud after a beautifully sung aria or a solo performance; however, concerts are different – it’s not customary to applaud between movements in an orchestral piece.