Your First Visit to the Ballet or Opera

A guide to your first ballet or opera performance with all the tips and information you need for an incredible evening. 

At the Royal Opera House you can explore far flung places, ancient history, mystical kingdoms and much more through the performances on our stages. Whether you want to explore the traditional, or get lost in the avant-garde there is a production for everyone.

We believe that these worlds should be open to everyone and that the art we offer should always be accessible. Whether you have never attended a performance at the Royal Opera House, or never seen any opera or ballet, there is a production for everyone and all from the world’s very best talent. Our extraordinary shows are now available to watch on stage, in the cinema or on our new digital streaming service, Royal Opera House Stream (so you can enjoy them at home or on the go too!).

Tickets and Events

The Royal Opera House is one of London's busiest theatres. With more than 500 performances and 100 events on our Main Stage, Linbury Theatre, Clore Studio or Paul Hamlyn Hall there's plenty to watch and do. The Royal Opera House Season runs September each year to July the following year with performances by The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and visiting companies. Other events including tours, Family Sundays and insight events.

People sitting in the audience in the main auditorium of the Royal Opera House.

Booking Tickets

To book tickets go to our What's On page to browse productions, select your seats and follow the checkout instructions to purchase.

You can filter by 'Ballet' or 'Opera' and by event types including tours, insights, matinee performances and accessible performances.

Tickets for events and performances are released throughout the year. You can find out when they will go on sale on the web page for each event. Members of the Royal Opera House (including Patrons, Friends and Young ROH) get priority booking ahead of the general onsale. Tickets for some events, such as tours, can be booked at any time throughout the year.

Showing your tickets

The Royal Opera House provides e-tickets only. It is not possible to collect physical tickets. Please bring a charged device to show you e-tickets or print out your tickets before you come to the theatre.

Ticket Pricing

We offer a wide selection of ticket options that vary in price point. Tickets for productions start from £9 and there is always plenty of choice. We run schemes that offer discounted tickets such as Young ROH, which offers £30 tickets for under-25s and Friday Rush, which offers last-minute tickets at a range of prices even for sold-out shows.

The Royal Opera House also offers several free events a year such as Family Sundays a way to discover ballet, opera and the Royal Opera House with fun-packed creative activities for all the family.

Become a member

There are two membership schemes: Friends Membership and the Young ROH scheme.

Friends get exclusive access to rehearsals and priority booking ahead of the public. Membership is a charitable donation that supports the future of ballet, dance, opera and music. 

Young ROH:

Young ROH is a scheme for 16-25 year olds that offers access to exclusive £30 tickets and special Young ROH events. You can sign up to the Young ROH scheme for free.

Get the full Experience

The Royal Opera House overlooks the Covent Garden Piazza and is just a stone's throw away from Covent Garden Underground station. Getting here is simple but be sure to arrive in plenty of time as latecomers will not be allowed to enter the auditorium. The auditorium is open from 30 minutes before a performance starts, so there is plenty of time to take your seats.

There are plenty of things to do at the Royal Opera House. You can visit our Shop on the ground floor and explore of collection of products inspired by the art and artists. Enjoy a pre-show meal or drink at one of our restaurants or bars, or pre-order interval food and drinks. 

We recommend arriving early to enjoy a drink at our rooftop bar or to take in the stunning architecture.  

Ice Creams, Bars and Restaurants

Sip a glass of Champagne or your favourite cocktail while soaking up the pre-theatre atmosphere at one of our bars. Buy an ice cream to enjoy inside the auditorium – purchased as part of your ticket order or in person during the interval.

Open all day — Visit our Piazza restaurant, rooftop terrace or café to enjoy meals, snacks or drinks at any time during the day.

Pre-theatre dining — Some of our restaurants are open exclusively to ticket holders. Enhance your evening with food and drink from two hours before the performance until the end of the last interval. Pre-ordering and reservation are essential.

Order ahead — The bars can be crowded during intervals, so consider pre-ordering. Your drinks will be ready and waiting for you during the interval.

Dive into the details

Our iconic red programmes are available on Main Stage performance nights. A great souvenir of your visit, they are filled with information about the production, cast and creatives as well as behind-the-scenes photographs – the perfect companion to the opera and the ballet.

Magnify the experience

Opera glasses are small binoculars that can be used to get a closer look at performances. You can focus in on an opera singer or check out finer details on costumes. Reusable, foldable opera glasses are available for £4 in the Royal Opera House shop or you can buy commemorative glasses for a special occasion. Both styles can be ordered to collect on the day of your performance.

Performance Information

Everyone is welcome at our performances and events. There are a number of ways that we make your experience the best it can be. 

Snow falling on the main stage of the Royal Opera House during a performance.

English Translations

Opera is a musical performance with the story told through song. Operas are performed in many languages, however whether it is an Italian opera like La traviata or a German opera like The Magic Flute, you will be able to understand. Throughout each performance we display English subtitles, which are translations of the lyrics and dialogue shown on screens. These are known as surtitles if they are above the stage. 

In both our theatres, surtitles are shown on a digital screen that sits above the stage. In the Main Stage Auditorium smaller screens can also be found close to your seating area.  

Between the Acts

The running time of the performance and information about the intervals can be found on our production web pages and digital cast sheets. To access this information, go to What's On and click 'More info' next to your selected performance. Here you will find the performance lengthand number and length of intervals so you will know how long you will have between the acts.

Please note that some running times and intervals change as rehearsals progress, particularly with new productions.  We endeavour to provide the most accurate timings we can. If no running time is available, please be assured that the information will be published as soon as possible. 

Accessible Performances

We offer a range of performances each year that cater to specific access needs, although they are open to everyone. These include: sensory adapted, relaxed environment, audio described and BSL (British Sign Language) interpreted performances. Find out more about Accessible Performances and sign up for our Access Scheme.

Watching Online

You can watch ballet and opera online via Royal Opera House Stream. Our streaming service allows you to watch performances, interviews, insights and behind-the-scenes footage from the comfort of your own home. You can sign-up for a 14-day free trial and explore performances of different styles to find out what suits you.


Everyone is welcome at the Royal Opera House and we want everyone's experience to be as enjoyable as possible. There are a few basic rules, and most are the same as in a standard theatre or cinema. Switch off your devices before the performance and put them away. You cannot take pictures or videos during the performance, but you are welcome to during the curtain call, when the performers are taking a bow. Keep other attendees in mind and refrain from chatting during the performance.  We ask all visitors to the Royal Opera House to follow our Visitor Guidelines

Applause is very much encouraged and it is really appreciated by the artists. If you do not know when to applaud, a good rule of thumb is to simply follow the rest of the audience's lead – everyone usually claps at the end of the performance! 

Here is a message from Darcey Bussell, Former Principal dancer of The Royal Ballet:

Two young people conversing in a crowd at the Royal Opera House.

Dress Up

There is no dress code for the Royal Opera House, simply wear what you feel comfortable in.   

Some people enjoy dressing up to visit the Royal Opera House. However, people also come straight from the office or from a day out in Covent Garden. Jeans or a suit, trainers or heels — the dress code is entirely up to you. We only ask that you wear shoes and are fully clothed.  

You may wish to dress up for Gala performances or Opening Nights, but this is not compulsory. Any events with a dress code will be noted at the point of purchase and on your ticket but for regular performances you can wear what you like. 


Performances start promptly. If you arrive late, or leave the auditorium during a performance, for reasons of safety, consideration for the performers and the enjoyment of others you may be asked to wait in the foyers until the interval or a suitable break in the performance when lights are raised. This can be up to 90 minutes. You will be able to view the performance via our TV monitors during this time.

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Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales (Company number 480523) Charity Registered (Number 211775)