October 14, 2022

Lyric 101: What to wear to the opera

One of the most common questions we receive here at Lyric is “How should I dress?” Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled this handy list of frequently asked questions and answers so you’ll know exactly what to wear on your next outing to Lyric.

Do I have to wear a tux/ball gown?

Oftentimes, when people picture a night at the opera they picture ball gowns, top hats, diamonds, and fur coats — not always easy when you’re coming from the office or hopping off the train. Fortunately, nowadays, this isn’t the case. A night at the opera can be as casual or as dressy as you like. On most nights at Lyric, you’ll see everything from denim to sequins! 

I want to get dressed to the nines, but don't want to look overdressed

Looking for an occasion to really dress up? Each fall, we roll out the red carpet to celebrate the opening of a new season. Historically a black-tie event, Opening Night is the perfect opportunity to strut your stuff down the colonnade, complete with photographers ready to take your picture.

Red Carpet looks at Lyric's 2022/23 Season Opening Night

What if I'm coming straight from work?

No need to bring a change of clothes if you’re coming from the office. Business casual is the perfect look for a night out at Lyric.

Is there a dress code?

Lyric does not have a formal dress code — you will never be turned away at the door for your clothes. That being said, a night at the opera is the perfect opportunity to dress it up a little — rock some red lipstick, try out a windsor knot, or break out those new pumps you’ve been dying to wear. Don’t forget to capture your look and post your pictures on social media with #LongLivePassion and tag @lyricopera.

Anything else I need to know?

Keep your fellow opera goers in mind when you’re getting ready by limiting strong perfumes and colognes. If your neighbor is choking up, it should be because of the emotions onstage! Additionally, some operas can last up to four hours, so don’t forget to keep it comfy — leave your can’t-breathe pants at home.

Of course, whatever you wear, it will be hard to top what’s onstage. Whether it's a diva's one-night-only concert or a grand-scale opera, Lyric is known for larger-than-life sets and costumes. Legendary designers like Zandra Rhodes, William Ivey Long, Catherine Zuber, and many more have outfitted our stars throughout the years.

Ana Kuzmanic's designs for Lyric's 2019/20 production of Mozart's Don Giovanni

For more outfit inspiration, check out our “Opera Fashion” board on Pinterest.

Photos: Todd Rosenberg, social media submissions, Elise Bakketun/Seattle Opera