September 13, 2021

Your theater experience: What to expect at the Lyric Opera House this season

Lyric live performances are back! Our company members could not be more excited to welcome audiences back to the Lyric Opera House. With new seats, proof of vaccination and face masks required, and health and safety at the forefront, what will your performance experience be like? We answer your questions here.

Theater entry

The Lyric Opera House will now open two hours prior to curtain times. We all know that travel and parking can be unpredictable — we encourage you to arrive early, and please arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the show.

Those who arrive early may wish to take advantage of our free, pre-opera talks in the theater, one hour before the performance.

Lyric requires proof of vaccination and a photo ID upon entrance to the theater. As you approach the theater, please have your photo ID and proof of vaccination ready. We are maximizing the entrance points and staffing to facilitate your convenient entry. To read more about our policy requiring proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 — which occurs two weeks after a CDC-recommended regimen of vaccination — plus acceptable forms of proof, click here.

Please note, Lyric does not accept negative Covid tests for admittance. All guests must be fully vaccinated.

Vaccination checks will happen before you enter the theater. Should you forget your vaccination card, you will not be admitted and we will work with you to reschedule your visit to Lyric. We thank you for being our partner in promoting health and safety for our audience and company members.

Security checks will happen once you enter the theater. A skilled team of security staff will complete this check, which may involve a brief wand screening.

Next stop: Ticket scanning! This season’s tickets have been sent digitally, and you may show your ticket on a smartphone without printing it for seamless entry. If you wish to print your ticket, please do so before arriving at the theater.



Lyric is excited about our new dining partnership with Toasted Hospitality this season to provide an elevated dining experience for Lyric patrons and beyond at The Florian and The Pedersen Room.

The Florian, is Lyric's newly renovated third floor restaurant. The Florian provides an elegant, prix fixe dining experience exclusively for Lyric Opera patrons, reminiscent of a supper club, with a focus on prime rib, classic cocktails, and a thoughtfully curated wine list. A walk-in Bar Bites menu, intermission dessert service, and post-show cocktails are also available.

The Pedersen Room, located at street level on Wacker Drive, is undergoing renovations and is not currently open. The Pedersen Room provides a window into the historic opera house, and will become an all-day coffee shop and whiskey bar focusing on chef-driven, casual, lunch and happy hours. More information to come later in 2022.

William B. and Catherine Graham Room, Lyric's luxurious home for annual contributors at the Distinguished Patron level, is open and available for reservations.


Concessions will be open with limited beverage and snack options. Food and drink will not, however, be allowed in the theater during performances due to mask protocols.

We ask that you consume your food and beverage in the lobby and limit the time that you are unmasked to eat or drink in keeping with our health and safety policies.

Our bars are cashless and accept all major credit cards and Apple Pay.

New seat numbers

You may notice that you have a new seat number thanks to our opera house seating renovation. Seat numbers are now consecutive, from one side of the theater to the other, so please follow the information on your ticket to determine the best door for entrance. The first number of your seat number also now correlates to the floor of the building that you are on, to make finding your way easier for newcomers.

We hope that you find our new seats and wider aisles comfortable and conducive to a more streamlined entrance and egress. We are deeply grateful to the Anonymous Donor that made this important renovation possible as part of our Patron Accessibility Initiative.


Some other amenities that you may notice at the theater include:

  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the theater.

  • Coat check will be open and continues to be $2 per item. Please bring cash if you plan to check items.

  • Braille programs and large print programs are available at the first coat check on the main floor, between aisles one and two.  Audio-assisted hearing devices are available for loan at the second coat check on the main floor, between aisles two and three.

  • Our restrooms have undergone renovations to be touchless.

  • Our elevators, which were renovated during the summer, are operating at full capacity given the vaccinated, masked status of the audience. If you are not comfortable taking an elevator, consider arriving early to take the stairs if your seat is located on an upper floor.

Additionally, please know that there are many health and safety improvements that you cannot see — hospital grade cleaning practices; a ventilation system that has been upgraded and surpasses recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, thoroughly cleaned, and praised as gold standard by a health and safety consultant; increased fresh air exchange to improve air circulation — and more. We’ve taken your health, and that of our company members, seriously, so that we can return to the joy of live performances in the safest possible way.

We can’t wait for your visit to the Lyric Opera House — here’s to a thrilling new season ahead!

Photos: Kyle Flubacker, Darris Lee Harris