Facilities and Accessibility - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Facilities + Accessibility

Attending a Performance

The management of Lyric Opera of Chicago earnestly requests patrons to preserve complete silence during the performance. As a gesture of respect for all other audience members as well as for our artists onstage and in the orchestra pit, patrons are asked to remain seated until an act or the opera is completely over.

The management reserves the right to refuse admittance or remove any person who may create a disturbance. Patrons are urgently reminded to check that their cellular phones, pagers, and electronic beepers (including watches and medical devices) are SWITCHED OFF before the performance begins.

Perfumes, hairsprays, colognes, lotions, and other scented toiletries should be avoided or used sparingly when attending the opera, as allergies are commonplace.

Noise from theater elevators may disturb patrons in the auditorium during the performance. We therefore respectfully ask that the elevators be used only before performances, at intermission, and after performances have concluded, except in cases of emergency.

Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.



During the opera season, the Civic Opera House Box Office (at the corner of Wacker and Madison) is open from noon to 6:00pm Monday through Saturday (noon through the first intermission for evening performances), and noon–through intermission on Sundays if there is a matinee.

During season, Lyric Opera's phone sales staff is on duty from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10:00 a.m. to curtain only when there is a Sunday performance. On performance evenings and matinees, our phone lines are open until curtain time. Call 312-827-5600, for ticket information.

Should you need to visit the Ticket Department, we are located at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 840, Chicago, IL 60606. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please visit the Ticket Info + Seating Chart page for additional ticketing information.

Should you be unable to attend a performance, we would greatly appreciate your donating your tickets to Lyric Opera. Doing this as soon as possible will increase our chances of reselling them. Although we would appreciate your ticket donation as soon as possible, we can accept calls as late as five minutes prior to curtain at 312-827-5600. A personalized statement of all ticket donations will be e-mailed to you in January for the previous calendar year.

The use of a ticket acknowledges a willingness to appear in photographs or video taken for print, television, or film in the public areas of the theater and releases Lyric Opera of Chicago from liability resulting from the use of such photographs.


Patrons with Disabilities

The Civic Opera House is accessible to physically disabled persons with elevator service to all floors except the Opera Club. The Ardis Krainik Theatre contains seating that is accessible to persons in wheelchairs, as well as seats with removable armrests. The opera house has automatic door-openers on exterior doors, and accessible drinking fountains and public telephones. A TTY phone is available in the Box Office for outgoing calls only.

Restroom facilities for female patrons with disabilities are located on all levels of the Opera House except the Opera Club level. For male patrons, these facilities are located on all levels except the Opera Club level and the sixth floor.

Infrared assistive listening devices for persons desiring amplification are available at no cost at any open checkroom. High-powered opera glasses for the visually impaired are available at no cost at the checkroom on the main floor. A valid driver's license, state identification, or major credit card is required as a security deposit.

For additional information or questions, call 312-827-5600.


Wheelchair Policy

The Civic Opera House is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  ADA regulations state that we must make our facility accessible to people with disabilities, but are not required to physically assist people into our facility.  

The Civic Opera House provides the following options to visitors requiring special accommodations:

  • Patron assistance is available curbside on North Wacker Drive to aid in the removal of wheelchairs from cars or taxis.  ADA guidelines suggest that persons with wheelchairs who need further assistance should travel with a companion to assist them on entering the building, moving through the facility, and helping them to their seats in The Civic Opera House.

  • The Civic Opera House provides two options for wheelchair patrons.  Please notify the Civic Opera House staff as you are purchasing your ticket(s) or upon arrival at the Opera House if you will need to secure access to either type of seating accommodations:

  1. Patrons that must or choose to  remain in their wheelchairs during the performance can be accommodated in several seating locations throughout the Opera House.  Companion seating is provided adjacent to each location.  

  2. Patrons who are able to transfer on their own from their wheelchairs can utilize seats with removable aisle-side arm-rests.  This type of seating is available throughout the Opera House area, with adjacent seating for companions.  After patrons transfer to a seat, their wheelchairs will need to be removed from the auditorium and returned for use during intermission and at the conclusion of the performance. If assistance with the removal of the wheelchair is desired, please contact an usher.

  • The Civic Opera House maintains a wheelchair for emergency use by medical personnel, which must be kept available for that use at all times.  The Civic Opera House does not have a wheelchair available for us by patrons for traditional seating and/or transportation.

Wheelchair/Accessibility FAQ's:

Q: Are there always wheelchair locations available for every performance?

A: No. Following ADA rules, we will release seats being held in the designated wheelchair locations if the rest of the section is almost sold-out.  Wheelchair locations are possible at every price range, including some balcony locations, until the section is almost sold-out.  


Q: I need a wheelchair to take me from the curb into the house and to my seat. Do you have a wheelchair I can use and ushers who will help me?

A: No. The Civic Opera House maintains a single wheelchair that is restricted for use by medical personnel in emergency situations and must be available for that sole use at all times.  The Civic Opera house does not offer the use of a wheelchair for this purpose.  We are also unable, due to liability constraints, to offer assistance of any type to lift or physically transfer patrons our of wheelchairs and into or out of theater seats.


Q: I'm in a wheelchair and have a companion who will help me into the house and assist me into my seat or wheelchair seating location. Do I have to buy a ticket for my companion?

A: No, in most cases, a companion can sit in the Civic Opera House lobby and watch the performance on a monitor, if you choose not to purchase an extra ticket or if the performance is sold-out and extra tickets are not available.  If you want ensure that your companion stays with you during the performance, then a second ticket purchase is necessary.


Q: If I don't need a wheelchair platform but have a wheelchair/walker/scooter, what happens to my wheelchair/walker/scooter while I'm in my seat?

A: An usher can assist you by moving your wheelchair/walker/scooter out of the aisle and bringing it back to you at each intermission and at the end of the performance. Please ask for assistance upon arrival at The Civic Opera House or upon entering the seating areas.

Q: Are there elevators to take me to the balconies?

A: Yes.

Q: Where are the wheelchair accessible restrooms?

A: All restrooms in The Civic Opera House are wheelchair accessible with the exception of the restrooms located in the Opera Club, the area located below the main floor that is accessed by two flights of stairs.

There are also two restrooms on the main floor, just north of the elevator banks, designated for handicap use.  


Q: Can I bring my oxygen tank?

A: Oxygen tanks are allowed as long as the tanks does not hiss or make any other noises that would potentially disturb neighboring patrons and are sized so that are not an obstruction in a seating row on in an aisle.  If the tank is noisy or uses an over-sized carrier, please make that known as you are purchasing your tickets as other seating options might be available.

Q: Do I have to pay extra for a wheelchair platform to be set up?

A: No.  Please indicate your need for the platform at the same time that you are purchasing your tickets.  Advance notice is needed to ensure accommodations can be made.

Q: Do you have any seats with removable armrests?

A: Yes.  That type is seating is available throughout the Opera House.

Q: I'm not sure if one of my guests will need a wheelchair location or not.  Can a wheelchair platform be set up once I arrive?  

A: No.  Please indicate the need for a wheelchair platform or wheelchair accessible seating when making your initial ticket purchase.  The Civic Opera House is unable to erect a wheelchair platform per patron request upon arrival on performance days.

Please enjoy your visit.



Cameras, recording equipment, food, and beverages* are not allowed in the seating area of the Civic Opera House. Cellphone photography and recording are not allowed. For the safety and comfort of our audience, management reserves the right to have all large parcels, backpacks, luggage, etc. checked in the Civic Opera House checkrooms.

*Bottled water is permitted.


First Aid

In case of illness or injury, please inform an usher, who will call the house manager and house doctor for assistance.



As a courtesy to our patrons, complimentary phone service is available in the Vaughan Family Hospitality Foyer and on the second and fourth floors.



Refreshments are available before performances and during intermissions throughout the Civic Opera House. Outside food and beverages may not be brought into the Civic Opera House.


No Smoking Policy

In accordance with the City of Chicago's Clean Indoor Air Act, Lyric Opera of Chicago has adopted a no-smoking policy throughout the Opera House at all times. Thank you for your cooperation.



Latecomers will not be seated once the performance has begun. Patrons who must leave will not be re-admitted during the performance. Latecomers or patrons who leave the theatre while the performance is in progress must remain in the lobby until a suitable break, which is usually the next intermission (if there is one). The performance can be viewed on monitors in the lobby. There is no stainding room.


Lost + Found

Please call (312) 827-5768 and leave a message with your contact information, the performance date you attended, and a detailed description of your item. If it was turned in to Lost and Found we will contact you. Unclaimed articles are held for 30 days.