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At the Opera Tonight

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Going to see and be seen.

"You don't know how refreshing this is. To meet someone who doesn't just come to the theater, but who gives over to it. That crowd in there, they only come because it's fashionable."
Sir Trevor Aimsley, Frasier

Basically where characters are attending an Opera, Classical Music concert, Theater show or a similar performance to take in some high culture. Yet this is mainly about what the characters do in the velvet seats in the posh auditorium. What happens on stage is usually irrelevant, even though we do usually get to see a little of the opera or concert. If what is being performed matters at all, it's to give the attending characters something to emotionally relate to. If the story features characters involved with the actual production in an important way (such as the main character finally getting the big part he/she dreamed about), it's not this trope.

In some stories, the real show is the people attending. They come in their finest suits, dresses, jewels, furs, and opera-length High-Class Gloves, often tailored to fit the current styles... and by current styles we mean an unwritten Dress Code that sorts out the Old Money patrons from the Nouveau Riche. As a consequence the patrons may not even pay attention to most of the show itself (which was the case in Real Life until about Richard Wagner's day) so they can talk and gossip. If they are in a private box, they may even play cards, drink wine, eat and even have an amorous dalliance or two...

In some stories, this is just to show one or more characters trying to be cultured, while other characters are bored to tears. When Men Are Uncultured, this is an opportunity to demonstrate masculinity by swearing off the flowery show to which their wives have taken them. Conversely, the more worldly man can take his less sophisticated love interest to the opera to impress and cultivate her. Sure enough, she is wowed by the glamorous surroundings and mesmerized by the performance, while he observes her contently. (See also Girls Stare at Scenery, Boys Stare at Girls.)

Compare Dances and Balls and Concert Climax. See also Snobby Hobbies.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Episode 11 of 91 Days takes place in the brand new playhouse that Vincent Vanetti has spent years and a fortune to build. Avilio brings down the house when he assassinates Don Galassia in the middle of the performance, causing the Galassias to believe that the Vanettis have betrayed them and sparking off a massive Mob War.
  • The Grand Finale of Blood+ has the characters heading down to the Opera House to try to stop Diva from carrying out her plan to turn the world into Chiropterants via song.
  • In the Cowboy Bebop episode "Ballad of Fallen Angels", Faye tracks the leader of the Red Dragons to his box at the opera hoping to collect a bounty on him, only to find that he's already been murdered by his subordinate Vicious as part of a trap for Spike.
  • Cyborg 009: 009 and 003 go to the ballet early on in episode 34 of the 1979 anime series. As they watch a performance of Giselle, 003, herself a ballerina, imagines herself in the role.
  • Emma: A Victorian Romance, being set in 1890s London, has several upper-class characters spend time at the opera. It's one of William and Eleanor's first dates.
  • Gankutsuou: Albert's first meeting with the Count and when he gets the pocketwatch as well as the first time he sees Haydee.
  • Gunslinger Girl: Rico assassinates a target at an opera. What's playing is Tosca, but she doesn't pay attention to it at all while Claes and Triela are back at the dormitory musing at what they think Rico and Henrietta's reactions would be if they were to see the whole opera and Claes even recites Tosca's Cry to God aria.
  • In episode 61 (appropriately titled "Invitation to an Opera") of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, the Supreme Chairman of the Alliance High Council is supposed to watch an opera together with the Imperial consul before he got himself kidnapped by rebelling soldiers. The Imperial consul watching the opera alone was not pleased about the chairman's tardiness.
  • Done to a very small extent near the beginning of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, where Zechs debriefs Treize whilst the latter is at what appears to be an opera.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: The Noahtic takes place on a cruise ship and centers around a ballet performance of Giselle...not that the performance is given much attention when the focus is on William contriving to reveal a Blitz Enders as a murderer on the ballet stage itself.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Hush: Bruce, Selina, Dr. Thomkins and Dr. Elliot are attacked by Harley Quinn while attending an opera at the Gotham Opera House.
  • In Alan Moore's Lost Girls, the final scene of part one is a visit to the opera, which is mostly an excuse for a bizarre, drug-addled initiation of Wendy into the pleasures of homo-eroticism.
  • Robin: Janet and Jack used to like to attend the opera together with Tim before Janet's death. Tim himself ends up at the Opera House after it's been heavily damaged by the quakes that triggered Batman: No Man's Land, attending a vaudeville style production since the abandoned house has been taken over by artsy types who give out free food and let almost anyone perform, from poetry readings, to short plays, piano recitals, and comedy acts.

    Fan Works 
  • Set in December 2009, Absit Omen featured a wizarding Winter Opera in which all the in-character attention was focused on those observing the event from the box seats, with the play described only in brief snippets...until the critical moment when the night took a turn for the worse.
  • Earth and Sky: In chapters 12 and 13, Twilight, Rarity and co. attend a production of The Ring Of The Neighbelung starring Sweetie Belle as personal guests of the Princesses. This gives them the opportunity to present the Princesses with the concept of the flight harness.
  • In A Saga of Parallel Worlds, Ted Woolsey meets the actors for Draco and Ralse at a performance of The Marriage of Figaro. The resulting vocalized Dream Oath Opera became the signature scene of the cartridge SNES game Final Fantasy VI.

    Film — Animation 
  • Used in the Don Bluth movie of Anastasia, the Parisian Ballet is used as the setting of a few important revelations and fights — and the ballet is the extremely apt Cinderella.
  • Charlotte's first scene: Charlotte and her family attend an opera in 1935 Berlin, which is interrupted by members of the Nazi party attempting to drive out Jews in the audience. The brutality of this is contrasted by the high-class setting.
  • The climax of Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers takes place at the opera.
    • Speaking of, the movie has a Running Gag in which, whenever Pete mentions the opera, the scene cuts to a poster showing the spectacle that was meant to play at the opera, and a fanfare plays. Pete even breaks the fourth wall on one occasion:
    Pete: "That little ditty's startin' to grow on me!"

    Film — Live Action 
  • Amadeus naturally has several opera scenes: over the course of the film, we see bits of performances of The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni by Mozart, as well as the finale of Salieri's Axur, Re d'Ormus. For the central characters—Salieri and Mozart—these are work, but the character of the 18th-century Viennese opera night is expressed rather well—that is to say, rich people in fancy dress chatting and drinking and only half-paying attention to the action onstage, with the ones who had their own boxes getting dinner served and sometimes drunkenly tossing orange peels and other refuse onto the audience below.
  • Batman Begins eschews sending the Wayne family to the usual movie (Tyrone Power in Zorro) and instead has Thomas and Martha Wayne mugged and killed leaving the opera early. (The opera in question is Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito, which shows thought from the writers: a lazy writer would probably have gone with Die Fledermaus for the name, but Mefistofele is much more thematically appropriate.)
  • In a very unsettling subversion of the trope, Birth has Nicole Kidman's character visiting the opera, and has the camera focus on her face alone for three full minutes while she seemingly undergoes a complete moral breakdown.
  • In Catwoman (2004), villain George Hedare takes his mistress to a Cirque du Soleil-style performance; the latter is bored and leaves...just in time for the heroine to take her place in the private box and confront him. She dodges the security officers by jumping onto the stage and scrambling up the back wall; the audience thinks she's All Part of the Show and applauds.
  • The Climax centres around the opera, and the climax takes place during the opening night of an operetta that has not be staged for 10 years.
  • The Constant Nymph: Lewis' new piece Tomorrow plays in a London opera house, but he doesn't really want to be there since he has left his love, Tessa, back home.
  • In The Departed, Boston mob boss Frank Costello attends the opera with a hooker on either arm, and has the sextet from ''Lucia di Lammermoor" as his ringtone.
  • The Fifth Element has Korben and Ruby attend a literal Space Opera onboard the Luxury Liner.
  • The Chevy Chase suspense-comedy Foul Play ends with a plot to assassinate the Pope at a performance of The Mikado.
  • In The Getting of Wisdom, Laura attends an opera performance with her music teacher Evelyn, with whom she's become romantically involved. There she meets Evelyn's friend Jim Meredith, causing her to become jealous when she incorrectly assumes that the two are involved in an intimate relationship when in reality they're Just Friends.
  • The final scene of The Godfather Part III. Anthony Corleone makes his debut in Cavalleria Rusticana, while Michael and Kay seem to be reconciling and ready to start again. This is quickly overshadowed by the several deaths after his performance, including that of his daughter Mary, which is what finally breaks Michael's spirit.
  • In Guarding Tess, they went to the opera. She falls asleep, and Doug accidentally knocks her over instead of waking her up.
  • In Hannibal, the title character attends an opera (a fictional adaptation of Dante's La Vita Nuova) while in Florence.
  • Connor MacLeod in the second Highlander II: The Quickening film attends a performance of Gotterdammerung, during which he has a flashback and introduces an extremely unpopular element to the series.
  • James Bond:
    • In The Living Daylights, Bond meets his contact Saunders during a concert in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. He is assigned to aid the defection of a KGB officer, General Koskov, covering his escape from the concert hall during the orchestra's intermission.
    • Quantum of Solace has a memorable sequence during a performance of Tosca.
  • In a flashback sequence in The Lost Weekend, Don and Helen go to see La Traviata at the Met. Unfortunately for Don, the first aria of that opera is a drinking song, and he sits the rest of the opera out because the sight of everyone but him holding drinking glasses is too much to bear.
  • The Love Parade (1929) has a scene where Queen Louise and Alfred attend the opening night of the opera and are forced to hide the strain in their relationship to avoid a scandal that could ruin the country.
  • In either of the Hitchcock films The Man Who Knew Too Much, the climax of the plot takes place in the Royal Albert Hall during an orchestra's concert.
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: A big chunk of the second act takes place during a performance of Turandot at the Vienna Opera.
  • In Moonstruck, Ronny (Nicolas Cage) invites Loretta (Cher) to see La Bohème with him, because he loves her and he loves opera so it would be his two favorite things together. She accepts.
  • Monte Carlo's climax is a Catch the Conscience opera performance of Monsieur Beaucaire, where the events onstage parallel the heroine's life a little too closely for her comfort.
  • Like the title says, A Night at the Opera features an opera, namely Verdi's Il trovatore. The Marx Brothers show up and Hilarity Ensues, including a baseball game in the orchestra pit.
  • In Pretty Woman, Edward takes Vivian to see La Traviata, in the "cultured Gentleman introduces an uncultured woman to the fine things of life" version. She is, of course, enraptured.
  • The Trope Namer is Repo! The Genetic Opera. There are several performances, but only two of them are shown, and then only because plot-relevent things occur during them; throughout the event, the main focus is what goes on backstage and in the audience. "At The Opera Tonight" is the name of the song leading up to the climax, sung by seven different characters all separately preparing to use the Genetic Opera as a stage to settle their grievances - exactly none of them are planning to just watch the show.
  • A portion of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows sees Holmes attempt to stop a plot from going off at an opera production of Don Giovanni, with portions of DG's score even written into Hans Zimmer's movie score. The entire opera plot ends up being a Red Herring, however, as when Holmes finds his way to the centerpiece of the plot, he finds a chess piece left there by Moriarty, who gives him a gloating nod from his box. The real plot was elsewhere.
  • In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin and Palpatine have a key conversation while attending...a Space Opera.
  • The Polish film Sala Samobojcow, or Suicide Room, begins and ends at the opera. It opens with Dominik's family watching a performance. Later in the story, when they visit again, Dominik has a breakdown, tells his parents he is gay and promptly begins making out with a marble bust. In a sad sort of symmetry, the story ends at the opera after Dominik's suicide with his parents sitting in separate boxes. They are now divorced.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley has a tense scene at the Roman opera where the titular character pretends to be two different people to keep up his ruse of identity theft and murder.
  • In The Untouchables (1987), Al Capone is seen attending an opera when Frank Nitti comes up and whispers the news that Jim Malone has been killed.
  • In Vigilante Diaries, the Vigilante abducts Andreas and Red from their box in the opera house because it is the one time he can get at them without having to go through Andreas' full security.

  • The beginning of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence is a long look of this trope and a chance to get to know the setting. This setting is revisited a few times. Also, Wharton discusses how the crowd chatters as a matter of course during certain songs, but remain obediently quiet for the important songs.
  • Lampooned in The Baroque Cycle. Nobody who's anybody in the time of Louis XIV attends an opera to watch the actors; don't be absurd.
  • In the Young Bond novel By Royal Command, with the noise from the opera masking his work, Wrangel picks up Gräfin Frieda von Schlick in her box, breaks her neck, and throws her over the balcony, making it seem that she died from the fall.
  • Honoré de Balzac used this trope to extremes. In almost every episode of Comédie Humaine, the characters go to the opera for flirting or to make a scandal about their screwed up marriages and liaisons. The performances are unimportant, but usually some Rossini. Also, A Harlot High And Low opens with an opera ball.
  • This is done early in The Count of Monte Cristo with people paying more attention to who's in the other boxes (one of whom is the mysterious count himself) than to anything happening on the stage. A bit of Truth in Television - at the time that the story is set, the opera itself was often incidental to the social act of simply being there and being seen (though the Count is very much there for the music).
  • In Diplomatic Immunity, Miles and Ekaterin go to the Minchenko Ballet. They enjoy the show, but the main purpose was to be seen.
    "But there's no point in being seen enjoying their art if we just look like any other anonymous downsiders. Tonight, I think we should both look as Barrayaran as possible."
  • Discworld:
    • While what's happening on (and behind) the stage in Maskerade is very important, there is a nod to this trope; Granny observes that most of the audience is there to be seen, not to watch. One significant minor character is a young social-climber who's dragged his mother along, and has also got a booklet that summarises the plot, since he's been told it's unlikely anyone in the audience would figure it out during the show.
    • The Fifth Elephant has Vimes attending a dwarf opera with his wife, along with various other diplomats and dignitaries. He spends more time working out who among the audience is on his suspect list and why, and his main reaction to the opera (which depicts the creation of the stolen coronation artifact, the Scone of Stone) is to wonder which dwarf in the love story is which, as both dwarf sexes traditionally wear chainmail and have beards. The plot, which Sybil knows very well, does play a key role in the book's climax.
  • In Evelina by Frances Burney, there's an opera scene mainly to show off how uncultured most of the other characters are.
  • Exit Strategy book 1 of the Nadia Stratford series by Kelley Armstrong, has a large sequence revolving around an opera performance. Montage revolving around getting ready? Check. Montage of pretty people in pretty opera-attending clothing? Check. Everyone absolutely ignoring the performance, instead watching the rest of the crowd? TRIPLE-check.
  • In Madame Bovary, Charles takes his wife to the opera, but that is unfortunately where she starts another affair.
  • In Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt, protagonists Beatrice and Seth first meet each other during an evening at the Stockholm Opera.
  • In Libba Bray's Rebel Angels Felicity, Gemma, Pippa, and Ann all go to the opera. The important plot point there actually happens in the powder room, and in the lobby later all are focused on who's accompanied them and not the opera itself.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel has a people-socialising-at-the-opera scene.
  • The Seven Per Cent Solution includes a trip to the Vienna Opera by Holmes, Watson, and Sigmund Freud. The opera itself only matters insofar as Watson and Freud are terrifically bored by it—more important is who else is attending that night...
  • The protagonist, Amateur Sleuth priests of Smaller & Smaller Circles go one night to the Cultural Centre of the Philippines—ostensibly for a Mozart concerto, but actually to meet a head of the foundation funding their forensic research. This being the Philippines, a lot of high-society figures are also seen visibly milling about, showing off their baroque finery and judging others'. NBI Director Lastimosa and his family are also in attendance, as is the Sinister Minister Cardinal Meneses.
    • In this case the performance isn't even needed except as a pretext to get several characters together; all the relevant scenes happen in the lobby before it even begins.
    • Setting up the scene in such a way that the performance was never actually depicted had a very practical benefit in the film adaptation, as it saved the production crew the whole expense of awaiting or staging an entire performance just for the sake of the movie.
  • In one of the Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin, two minor characters meet in the men's room of the opera house on Opening Night. One is doing coke, and the other reveals that he always replaces his hearing aid with a small radio and listens to a baseball game throughout.
  • The Thinking Machine: In "The Problem of the Opera Box", Van Dusen investigates when a young woman is stabbed to death while surrounded by her family in a opera box during a performance of Il trovatore.
  • Occurs in Venus in Furs when Wanda learns that Alexis Papadopolis (whom she has only just met) will be attending the Nicolini Theater. She immediately sends the subservient Severin to reserve a box at the same showing. According Severin, she and Alexis ignore the performance and spend the whole evening making eyes at each other:
    I saw her in her box dressed in blue moire, with a huge ermine cloak about her bare shoulders; he sat opposite. I saw them devour each other with their eyes. For both of them the stage, Goldoni's Pamela, Salvini, Marini, the public, even the entire world, were non-existant to-night.
  • War and Peace includes a scene where various characters socialise at the opera, with dramatic consequences for some of them.
  • In Where Angels Fear to Tread Philip, Harriet and Caroline attend a performance of Lucia Di Lammermoor in a provincial Italian opera house. Hilarity Ensues as Harriet's British Stuffiness is offended.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Angel's "Waiting in the Wings", the characters went to the ballet and incidentally showed the world that Summer Glau could act.
  • On Are You Being Served? one of their few outings involves this. They attend a ballet in "The Erotic Dreams of Mrs Slocombe." Appropriately enough ...
    Nurse: What ballet you are going to see?
    Cpt. Peacock: The Nutcracker Suite.
  • Boy Meets World had an episode where Mr. Feeny takes Eric to the opera in an attempt to instill an appreciation for culture in him. Eric is bored out of his mind, but just as he's about to give up and leave, "Ride of the Valkyries" begins to play, which he recognizes as "Kill Da Wabbit." From that point on, he's utterly enthralled, to Feeny's exasperation.
  • In Cheers episode "Diane Chambers Day", Diane takes some of the other characters along. They all, Diane included, end up sound asleep.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In "Murder Sings the Blues," Peyton takes Mac to the opera for his birthday. He gets called to a crime scene during the standing ovation, interrupting the rest of her plans.
    • Downplayed earlier in the series when Lindsay shows up to a scene in a formal dress, having been called in while seeing an opera herself.
    • Averted in the 9/11 10th anniversary tribute, "Indelible." Mac & Claire are shown in a flashback to that fateful morning. He had surprised her with opera tickets for that evening and held onto them after she died in the attacks, but finally releases them in the tide at the end of this episode.
  • One episode of Cupcake Wars was about the LA Opera's revival of La Bohème.
  • In the Doctor Who TV movie, we first meet "Amazing Grace" Holloway in the audience of Madame Butterfly when she gets paged to operate on the Doctor.
  • Given how often opera is mentioned on Frasier, the characters attend it on screen surprisingly little. Though they often mention trips to the opera, and/or meet in Frasier's apartment before a performance. (It's likely the budget of a sitcom just didn't cover lots of extras in fancy dress on many occasions).
    • In the episode "Hot Ticket", Frasier and Niles see the last play by a notable theater actor. But they care more about the prestige of the play than the content, so rather than admit they had to miss it, they fake seeing the play. Frasier manages to bluff seeing it to the actor himself, who laments how people often care more about such things because they are fashionable than caring about the art itself.
  • Hannibal uses this for one episode. The title character attends a performance (benefiting world hunger), and runs into a patient.
  • The pilot for Harlots has Margaret taking her daughter Lucy to the that the men in the audience can bid on her virginity.
  • In the Human Target episode "Imbroglio", Chance and Ilsa try to protect her sister-in-law when a hostage situation develops at the opera.
  • The Gossip Girl episode "The Tantrum of the Opera".
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • "In Throes of Increasing Wonder...": The first opera Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt attend together is Iolanta. Louis is so dazzled by the performance that he was "near weeping when the curtain fell," while Lestat prefers to study the gorgeous facial features of his Love Interest despite being an opera aficionado.
    • "...After the Phantoms of Your Former Self": The couple later see Don Pasquale at a more upscale, formal venue (they dress in tuxedos instead of suits) and Lestat pays for a private box, but the big downside is that black people are barred from entering unless they're a servant of a white person, so Louis must pose as Lestat's valet. Although they were impressed by the soprano Sofia Consoli, their date was marred by the tenor who portrays Ernesto, whose singing was out of tune throughout the show. Lestat decides to punish the tenor by making a meal out of him.
  • Jeeves and Wooster has an episode where a group of young men, including Wooster, attend an opera and fall asleep.
  • In the third episode of The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed, Zheglov and Sharapov go to a performance of Swan Lake in order to catch Pen-Master and his accomplice with the goods. Sharapov is unhappy that he has to watch the criminals instead of enjoying the ballet, but Zheglov doesn't care about the performance at all.
  • The pilot for Murder, She Wrote has Jessica watching the rehearsal of a murder mystery play, and giving away who the killer is before the first act was up. Some later episodes have her attending plays(occasionally based on her own works) and ballet productions, and inevitably helping solve murders that take place at these events. In one episode, she tells a detective, "There are three things in life that you can never have enough of, Lieutenant; friends, chocolate and theater."
  • In My Wife and Kids, leaving the opera early means the father catches the son trying to get it on with his girlfriend.
  • In the 2002 miniseries Napoléon, Napoléon Bonaparte goes to the opera and other public events in Paris so his enemies, the Austrians and Russians, won't expect his "Grande Armée" as it secretly marches across Europe without him.
  • In the first episode of The Palace, Prince Richard and Prince George weasel out of a Wagnerian opera to go clubbing — but they do end up at the opera house later that night, after their father dies unexpectedly.
  • Audrey in Rules of Engagement accidentally finds out that Russel is secretly a theatre/musical enthusiast.
  • Rumpole of the Bailey:
    • Claude Erskine-Brown is almost defined by his love of opera (specifically Wagner), but we rarely ever see him attend a live performance. However, it does appear once or twice.
    • Rumpole meets the actual culprit in "Rumpole and the Official Secret" in a box at Covent Garden.
  • Seinfeld had an episode at the opera. It focused on how The Maestro kept his pants creased.
    • There was also the one where they get tickets for the opera but spend the whole night paranoid about Crazy Joe Davola.
  • In one season three episode of Sex and the City, Carrie accompanies Charlotte to an opera, only to spot Big there, with the typical drama between them ensuing.
  • An episode of Sister, Sister has Ray and Lisa go to a performance of La Bohème with Ray's limo clients. Usually Ray is the cultured one and Lisa is the uncultured one, but Hilarity Ensues to make it seem like Ray is the uncivilized one.
  • The White Lotus: Quentin repeatedly compares Tanya to a tragic Giacomo Puccini heroine. In "That's Amore" he takes her to see Madame Butterfly in Palermo and the performance brings her to tears.
  • Happened on an episode of Will & Grace, when Grace confronts Karen by tracking her down in her box at the opera.
    Patron: Shh!
    Grace: Oh, come on, it's Madame Butterfly. You know how it ends. [GRACE MAKES A KNIFING MOTION] Aah-aah-aah!

  • The Spike Jones song "Pal-Yat-Chee" is a summary of the plot of the opera Pagliacci told from the perspective of a country-and-western fan trapped in the theatre.
  • A Night at the Opera by Queen references going to a opera for a night too.


    Standup Comedy 
  • One of Bette Midler's funniest routines (which she worked into the movie Beaches) is a song about Otto Titsling (who despite what you may have heard, did not invent the brassiere). Bette works in a number of "T"-bombs, but the first verse evokes this trope:
    Otto Titsling, inventor and kraut
    Had nothing to get very worked up about
    His inventions were failures, his future seemed bleak
    He fled to the opera at least twice a week

  • In the stage adaptation of Anastasia, all the main characters' plots converge at a performance of Swan Lake.
  • In Black Butler the Musical II: A Thousand Souls and a Fallen Shinigami, the antagonists' big plan is set to be enacted at an operatic performance, and all of the characters are invited and dress up for it. The program includes Olympia's aria from Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and Ciel comments that at least Viscount Druitt has good taste in music.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac begins at the Burgundy Hotel, a Parisian theater. The public was going to see La Clorise, but before it begins, all they really want is to play cards, drink wine, eat food, brawl with each other, tease girls, play funny pranks, and work (some pickpocketing).
  • In Dream Girl, Clark asks Georgina out to the opening night of a production of The Merchant of Venice where an old college friend of hers is playing Portia. Georgina also claims to have played Portia in high school, back when she wanted to be an actress, and takes over the role from the actress in a Dream Sequence.
  • The purpose of The Opera in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 is introducing Natasha to Anatole. The minutes of the performance that we see are...odd, and both Sonya and Natasha are disturbed by it.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed III sets its first mission in a revival performance of The Beggar's Opera in the 1750s.
  • Final Fantasy VI has its famous "Aria di Mezzo Carattere", but it's the only part of the show that we see in detail. The plot actually focuses on the party trying to rig a meeting with Setzer and gaining access to his airship by using Celes as a decoy for the real opera singer, Maria, who Setzer plans to kidnap. And then Ultros decides to drop in as well...
  • A significant part of Gabriel Knight 2 revolves around a fictional lost Wagner opera, "Der Fluch Des Engelhart." The endgame is set the night of the opera's first performance, and focuses both on the trope's regular features, and another character setting things up from the backroom so they can get on stage at the right point.
  • The Hitman: Blood Money level "Curtains Down" takes place in an opera house where one of your targets was in a rehearsal of Tosca. The other target was watching the other guy do the rehearsal of Tosca.
  • The boss of the third world of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the mysterious Tom Phan, an opera-singing ghost who's invincible while he's under the spotlight. Mario and co. have to knock out the spotlights before beating him.
  • Painkiller has the Opera House level, which involves samurai, ninja and beetle-things trying to kill Daniel - and him killing them.
  • Parasite Eve begins with the heroine attending an opera, where the audience gets killed and the opera singer turns into a monster. The final scene is an Ironic Echo of this.

    Visual Novels 
  • Melody gives the protagonist and title character at a rock opera having some quality bonding time.

  • The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred has an arch featuring the entire cast (at the time, anyway) attending a piano concert to see one of the protagonists sisters perform. Of the 73 strips in the arch about three deal with the actual piano performance, most of which involves Wiglaf outperforming the actual pianist.

    Web Original 
  • Shadow of the Templar includes a trip to the opera in the fourth novel High Fidelity, in which Jeremy, Simon, and Team Templar undertake a rescue mission at a performance of Turandot to save Jeremy's friend Annabelle, who also is his answering service.

    Western Animation 
  • The Aaahh!!! Real Monsters episode "Rosh O' Monster" has Ickis, Krumm and Oblina recount how they scared an opera house full of humans.
  • Arcane: Shortly after becoming a Councilor, Jayce is invited to see a concert with the musician playing an instrument that looks like a violin with a tuba coming out the back. There, Mel convinces him the necessity of smoozing and making corrupt deals with the other councilors for his own survival. Heimerdinger is the only councilor focused on the performance, and he's having a great time.
  • The Arthur episode "Lights, Camera, Opera" in which Muffy's father plans to take her to see Carmen but Muffy worries if she can stay awake through it, let alone enjoy it. Features a guest performance by actual opera star Rodney Gilfry.
  • Family Guy: Peter gets dragged to the ballet; he's so bored he ends up exchanging texts with Quagmire.
  • The debut episode of The Flintstones ("The Flintstone Flyer") has Fred faking a relapse of an injury he suffered earlier so he and Barney can get out of going to the opera with Wilma and Betty and participate in a bowling tournament.
  • Heckle and Jeckle gatecrash their way into a performance of The Barber of Seville, leading to a merry chase throughout the theatre with Chesty the usher in pursuit.
  • Hey Arnold! has a Musical Episode where the class goes to see Carmen. First Arnold, then Helga fall asleep and imagine their own romantic fantasies playing out in the story, sprinkled with references to Pagliacci and Ride of the Valkyries as well.
  • Looney Tunes: the essential classic "Rabbit of Seville" has Bugs and Elmer not only at the opera, they're in it as well. Since it is purely spur of the moment as it started as a typical hunter-vs.-prey chase, everything is being improvised to great hilarity. The later "What's Opera, Doc?" indicates everything has been meticulously and painstakingly rehearsed.
  • In an episode of The Loud House, Lisa recounts the time when she and Luna went to the opera, apparently to see Die Walkure. Luna gets bored by Act II and attempts a stage dive into the orchestra pit, causing Brunnhilde to swoon.
    • In a later episode, Mr. and Mrs. Loud attempt to make their kids more "well-rounded" by taking them to the opera (this time it's The Barber of Seville), but Lisa seems to be the only one who is invested.
  • In Milo Murphy's Law, Milo and his friends attend the opera for extra credit while his crush, Amanda, does it for fun. Since Amanda mentions that she really doesn't want anything to go wrong, Milo spends most of the time backstage, trying and failing to prevent all the chaos Murphy's Law causes during the performance. Given that Milo is played by a famous singer, wanna bet whether or not he's eventually Pushed in Front of the Audience?
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Sweet and Elite," we see Rarity attending an opera during a musical montage of her mingling with Canterlot's upper crust.
  • The Oggy and the Cockroaches episode "A Night at the Opera" features Jack as the headliner of an opera, with Dee Dee attempting to shove his way into the spotlight, all while Oggy stops him, along with Joey and Marky, from ruining his cousin's night from behind the scenes.
  • The Real Ghostbusters go to a performance of Wagner's Ring Cycle in "A Fright at the Opera," though not for their own enjoyment: the opera house has an infestation of real, ghostly Valkyries.
  • The Simpsons have attended several theatrical performances. Lisa and Marge will be paying attention while Bart and Homer usually get bored. Lisa, being a eight-year-old child, occasionally joins Bart and Homer in their shenanigans (or at least laughs with/at them).
  • Tom and Jerry take their battle to an opera house in "Carmen Get It," where Tom has to sneak in as where Jerry got in undetected.


Video Example(s):


Bond and Saunders

Bond meets his contact Saunders during a concert in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. He is assigned to aid the defection of a KGB officer, General Koskov, covering his escape from the concert hall during the orchestra's intermission.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AtTheOperaTonight

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