The federal opera house in the capital of Europe

La Monnaie / De Munt

© Hugo De Pril

Your first visit to La Monnaie?

HOW DO I GET THERE?

Our opera house is located in the historic heart of Brussels and is very well served by public transport. We are within walking distance of the Central Station and close to major interchanges of the city’s metro, tram, and bus lines. There are also three car parks in the immediate vicinity.
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WILL I UNDERSTAND IT?

Our operas are sung in their original languages, but we always provide surtitles. So a translation of the words being sung is projected above the stage, in both French and Dutch. Thanks to the surtitles, if you have some knowledge of at least one of those languages, you should be able to follow what’s going on. If not, a quick look at an online plot summary beforehand will make it easy to follow the story.

DO I NEED TO PREPARE BEFOREHAND?

That’s entirely up to you. For some people, reading the story beforehand lessens their enjoyment of the plot’s twists and turns. Others find that it makes the whole experience even more enjoyable. And some people like to listen to the opera or read the libretto before going to see a live performance.

HOW CAN I PREPARE?

There are various ways. There are always short summaries in our free MM Magazine, which also contains interviews with the artists. In addition, half an hour before the performance begins there is an introduction to the opera and an outline of the director’s approach, in the Bonbonnière or in our Grand Foyer – in French and in Dutch. You can also listen to these introductions online.
Keen to find out everything you can about the performance? Our programme booklets (in French and Dutch) always contain an extensive analysis and background material, as well as biographies of the artists involved in the production.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

There is no dress code, so wear the clothes you want to wear. You could, of course, make the evening that bit more festive by digging out a special outfit. But there is absolutely no obligation to do so: if you’re happy in a sweater, jeans, and sneakers, that’s fine by us.

HOW LONG DOES AN OPERA LAST?

There are very short operas and others that are really, really long. On average, an opera lasts about 2.5 hours, including a 25-minute interval. Not much longer than a typical Hollywood blockbuster, in other words.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Our prices vary, for different categories of seats. Tickets cost from € 10 (less than a cinema ticket) to € 129 (not that different from the price of a ticket for a major rock concert). We also offer substantial discounts for young people under 30 years of age. In opera, the singers, orchestra, and choir perform live, without amplification. And don’t forget that everything you see on the stage – sets, costumes, and props – has been made in our Workshops.

WHEN CAN I BUY TICKETS?

Tickets for opera performances go on sale six weeks before the first performance. It is worth taking the trouble to make a note of the date in your diary, as tickets often sell out quickly. The exact dates when tickets go on sale can be found here.

CAN I GET SOMETHING TO EAT OR DRINK?

Before and after the performance and during the intervals, you can go to our bar for drinks and light snacks. During the intervals, you can also get these in the Grand Foyer. But no eating or drinking is allowed in the auditorium itself.

WHAT IF I ARRIVE LATE?

Always come on time. There is nothing excessive about arriving half an hour before the time shown on your ticket, as looking for your seat when you are stressed-out and under pressure can seriously worsen the whole experience. But if you do come late, you can follow the performance on the screen in the entrance hall – until the next interval.

WHAT DO I DO WITH MY COAT?

Our cloakroom is free and secure. Make things easy for yourself and leave your coat and bag in our cloakroom instead of trying to stow everything under your seat. One less thing to worry about! During the recent renovation works, our heating and ventilation systems were completely revamped!

CAN I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OR MAKE VIDEOS?

Unlike at pop and rock concerts, where everyone can hold up a smartphone, taking photographs or making videos is not allowed during our performances. You must also turn off your mobile devices during performances. If you would like to share a souvenir of your night at the opera on social media, you are welcome to take a picture before or after the performance.

EH… WHEN SHOULD I APPLAUD?

The general rule is that applause comes at the end of each act. But sometimes people react enthusiastically after a particularly beautifully sung aria. If in doubt, do nothing…except at the very end, of course!
Finally, don’t forget that you are welcome to ask our auditorium staff if you have questions. They have just one goal: to make sure you have an enjoyable evening!

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