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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 main-stage and Linbury performances are held at the Box Office, accessible via revolving doors on Bow Street and the north corner of the Covent Garden Piazza.

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 by the Box Office. If you leave the building 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 side of the auditorium. Please ensure that you follow the signage on the stairs, as once inside the auditorium itself it’s impossible to cross from one side to the other.

What happens if I arrive a little late?

If you arrive late, for safety reasons you will be asked to wait in the 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.

What happens if I leave the auditorium during a performance?

If you leave the auditorium during a performance, for safety reasons you will not be permitted to re-enter until the interval or a suitable break in the performance when the lights are raised. You can view the performance on TV monitors in the foyers 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 5–14 must be seated next to an accompanying adult. Babies and infants will not be admitted into the auditoriums. Please see the production’s website page for age guidelines.

Where can I buy a souvenir programme?

Souvenir programmes are on sale in the Main Entrance Foyer, the Paul Hamlyn Hall and the Amphitheatre Lobby. They can also be redeemed with vouchers, available to buy online ahead of your visit. Contents include a synopsis (for narrative works), illustrated essays on aspects of the production and the work's historical context written by leading academics and artist biographies.

Souvenir programmes usually cost £7, although programmes for galas and other special occasions may cost slightly more. Free cast sheets are available for all 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 there’s something suitable for a range of tastes and budgets. Visit our Restaurants and Bars page for more details.

Award-winning Criterion Ices are available to buy from ushers in the foyers at £3 each. From the start of the 2015/16 Season there is the option to buy ice cream vouchers online at the same time as you book your tickets.

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.