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Attending a performance

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code - feel free to dress up or down.

When should I arrive?

Visit us for a meal or glass of wine before a performance, but make sure you leave plenty of time to find your seat, especially if you are in the Amphitheatre. We recommend you arrive at the Royal Opera House a minimum of 30 minutes before the performance starts. Performances start promptly and latecomers cannot be admitted.

Announcements will alert you to the start of the performance at 10, five and two minutes to curtain up.  If you cannot use stairs please allow extra time to find your seat as lifts can be busy.

Where do I pick up my tickets?

Tickets for collection for all performances are held at the Box Office in the Bow Street/Covent Garden Piazza 'Link' as there are several entrances.

What should I do if somebody else has my ticket?

You will need to show your ticket at the main entrance doors. If you are waiting for someone who has your ticket, the best place to meet is in the Bow Street/Covent Garden Piazza Link by the Box Office. If you leave at the interval, tickets must be shown again for re-entry.

Is there a charge for using your cloakroom?

You may leave your bags in the cloakroom for free. Your bag may be searched as you enter the Royal Opera House. Please do not leave bags unattended in the theatre at any time.

What does it mean if my ticket is marked 'left' or 'right'?

Your ticket for the main auditorium will be marked LEFT or RIGHT depending on whether your seat is on the left or right of the auditorium. Please ensure that you follow the signage as once inside the auditorium it's impossible to cross from one side to the other.

What happens if I arrive a little late?

If you arrive late, or leave the auditorium during a performance, for safety reasons you will be asked to wait in foyers until the interval or a suitable break in the performance when the lights are raised. (This wait can be up to 90 minutes in some performances.) You can view the performance on TV monitors during this time.

Can I bring children to the Royal Opera House?

Children and Young People are welcome and must have their own ticket. Children aged 5 to 14 must be seated next to an accompanying adult. Babies and infants will not be admitted into the auditoriums. Please see production pages for age guidelines.

Where can I buy a programme?

Programmes are on sale in the Main Entrance Foyer, the Paul Hamlyn Hall and the Amphitheatre Lobby. You can also redeem programme vouchers, available to buy online ahead of your visit. Programmes include a synopsis (for narrative works), artist biographies, illustrated pieces on the production and essays about the historical context.

Programmes usually cost £7, although souvenir programmes are produced for some productions and these cost slightly more. Free cast sheets are available for productions by The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera.

What food and drink is available?

There are two bars and three restaurants at the Royal Opera House, all of which open 90 minutes before curtain up and again during intervals. Our menus are designed to complement the production you will see on stage: from Black Swan Bellinis to Nutcracker afternoon tea, and something is on offer for all pockets. Visit our Restaurants and Bars page for more details.

Can I take food and drink into the auditorium?

Food and drink are not permitted in the auditorium.

Is it possible to record or photograph the performance?

The use of cameras and recording equipment is strictly forbidden.