Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear?
Will I be able to understand the opera?
Where can I learn more about opera?
When should I arrive?
Where should I park?
I’d rather not drive — is there public transportation?
What services are available for visitors with disabilities?
What if I have luggage or other large parcels with me?
What happens if I’m late?
Oh no! I’ve lost my tickets! What do I do?
Do I have to print tickets received by e-mail if I have a smartphone?
How long does an opera usually last?
Are children welcome at the opera?
Are there discounts?
Does Lyric offer rush tickets?
What is Lyric’s exchange policy?
When is the box office open?
I received a special offer, but my promo code isn't unlocking special promotional pricing.
Can you remove me from your mailing list?


What should I wear?

Wear something that makes you feel comfortable! Typically weeknights are business casual and attending an opera on a Saturday night is a little dressier. Of course any time you attend the opera part of the glamour and fun is an opportunity to dress up.


Will I be able to understand the opera?
Opera is frequently performed in the language in which it was originally written, but no worries, English translations are projected above the stage for every performance and will help you follow the story. An opera with super titles is similar to a watching a foreign film with subtitles and you'll have even fewer problems following along at an opera. Just relax and immerse yourself in the experience.

Whether you are a newcomer or opera aficionado, our pre-opera talks will help enhance your experience. Join us in the theatre one hour before curtain time for a free 30-minute preview talk to learn about the composer, the themes within the music and drama and mingle with your fellow operagoers! Learn more at Lyric Opera Talks.

For those of you who love to learn as much as possible before the performance, visit lyricopera.org  for interviews, features on upcoming productions, videos, and in-depth information.


Where can I learn more about opera?
In addition to Lyric’s free Opera Talks before every performance, Lyric U is a great place to learn, engage, and explore our art form. Content includes background videos on voice part (narrated by Lyric Creative Consultant Renée Fleming), interviews with General Director Anthony Freud and Music Director Sir Andrew Davis about how an opera season comes together, and more.


When should I arrive?
The Civic Opera House opens one hour prior to curtain time. We suggest that you arrive at least 30 minutes before the performance or join us in the theatre an hour before curtain time if you are attending the free pre-opera talks. Please be sure to leave ample time to account for weather, traffic conditions, and parking when traveling to the Civic Opera House. For a complete listing of the curtain and running times to help you plan your travel and arrival time visit Opera Running Times.

Make an evening of it and dine at one of the two unique restaurants offering marvelous food created by Calihan Catering. Perfect for both evening and matinee patrons looking for ambiance, choice, and hassle-free convenience.


Where should I park?
There are many self-park locations near the Opera House and patrons enjoy discounted rates* at Poetry Garage located at 201 W. Madison. To learn more about available parking visit Getting to Lyric.

If you are dropping off passengers with accessibility needs, approach the Opera House from westbound Madison Street or from the north on Wacker Drive.

Valet service is also available to Lyric Opera patrons beginning at 5:00pm on performance evenings, regardless of curtain time. For Saturday/Sunday matinees, valet parking is available beginning at 12:00 noon. Cost for valet service is $30. We regret valet parking is not available for patrons attending weekday dress rehearsals or weekday matinees performances. Visit ParkWhiz.com for additional valet parking options.

*Offer only valid weeknights 3pm–3am. Up to 12 hours on weekends. Not valid for weekday matinee performances.


I’d rather not drive — is there public transportation?
The Civic Opera House is conveniently located near both Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center. Union Station’s Madison Street exit deposits guests almost directly across the street from their destination. When coming from OTC, exit the building on Madison Street and head left. When you come to the corner of N. Wacker Drive, you will have arrived at your destination.

For additional information, including train schedules, visit Regional Transportation Authority's website or contact METRA Train Information/Passenger Services at 312.322.6777. Visit Getting to Lyric for more public transportation options including the CTA and “L” subway stations.


What services are available for visitors with disabilities?
Lyric strives to make the opera experience accessible for all patrons by providing services for those who may need assistance. Services include accessible seating for those in wheelchairs, FM and Telecoil loop assisted listening devices, audio described performances, and additional services to enhance your experience. Visit Accessibility for services offered at the Civic Opera House.

Services for patrons who have mobility disabilities

Services for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing

Services for patrons who are blind or have low vision


Please call Audience Services at 312.827.5600 if you have questions or would like to purchase tickets over the phone. All of our representatives can assist you in finding a seat location and services to fit your needs. If you have specific questions about disability accommodation requests please contact Nora O'Malley, Facilities Operations Manager, at 312.827.3577 or by email at nomalley@lyricopera.org


What if I have luggage or other large parcels with me?
Lyric Opera requires that any bag that will not fit on your lap be checked at Coat Checks on floors 1, 2, 3 and 5 during the performance. There is a $2 charge for all checked items including coats, bags and luggage. Lyric reserves the right to search bags for security reasons.


What happens if I’m late?
Opera has a tradition of starting promptly and the doors to the house are closed at curtain time. We realize that Chicago weather and traffic can cause delays, and so we urge you to plan your travel and parking carefully to leave plenty of time so that you don’t miss a note of the music! We always will try to accommodate latecomers in an available section of the house or at a pre-determined break which may be intermission, but house capacity does not always allow this. Video screens are available in the lobby, though, so you can enjoy the performance until a seating break.


Oh no! I’ve lost my tickets! What do I do?
Don’t panic. We will replace lost tickets at no charge. Call Audience Services at 312.827.5600 or visit the Civic Opera Box Office before curtain time to have your tickets reprinted.


Do I have to print tickets received by e-mail if I have a smartphone?
You may display the barcode on your smartphone or print your tickets at home. Our ushers are happy to scan your tickets either way.


How long does an opera usually last?
Each opera varies and for a complete listing of the curtain and running times and intermission information, visit Opera Running Times.


Are children welcome at the opera?
Yes - Lyric even offers child ticket prices for every performance! When it comes to children, please use your best judgement with regard to length of the performance and your child’s comfort. Operas with shorter lengths or child-friendly themes like Cinderella or Hansel and Gretel are often a great place to start nurturing your young opera lover. All children do need a ticket - lap-seating is not permitted.


Are there discounts?
Lyric offers several ways to save and a variety of programs and tickets at discounted rates for college students, educators, young professionals, and groups of more than 10. In addition we offer discounts on child tickets for school age children.

NEXT Student Tickets:  Discounted tickets for college students
ENCORE: Discount tickets for 20-40 year olds
DEAL: Discount Tickets for Educators
Group Sales: Discounts for groups over 10
Child Tickets: Discounts on child tickets for school age children up to at 17 for all opera performances.


Does Lyric offer rush tickets?
Lyric Opera is pleased to make 50 rush tickets available at 50% off, 2 hours before curtain. Visit Lyric Opera Rush Tickets for ordering information.


What is Lyric’s exchange policy?
This year, for the first time, there will be no fees for subscribers who complete an exchange 5 days before the performance! If a date conflict arises you may exchange our tickets for another performance of the same opera. (Fees apply for exchanges less than 5 days prior to your performance or that include an upgrade in seating section or date. Value Series may exchange for Value dates only.) You may exchange your tickets online or contact Audience Services for assistance.

Single tickets may be exchanged for another performance of the same opera or musical up to one day in advance of your performance date. Please call 312-827-5600. Fees apply. To learn more visit Ticket Exchanges.


When is the box office open?
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.

The Ticket Department is located at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 840, Chicago, IL 60606. Hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


I received a special offer, but my promo code isn't unlocking special promotional pricing.
In order for the special code to give you access to special promotional pricing, you must login or register with the promo code before selecting your tickets.


Can you remove me from your mailing list?
You can manage your mailing, phone, and email preferences through My Account after you login.


If your question isn't listed, please feel free to contact Audience Services at 312-827-5600, or email us using the form on our Contact Us page.
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