Student Night @ the Opera

Student Night @ the Opera is a program designed to provide students and chaperones unparalleled access to the power of live opera, at reduced ticket prices, to experience the excitement of professional performances first-hand in order to broaden the student’s appreciation for cultural arts our communities.

“For seven years in a row, Virginia Opera’s student night has amazed and thrilled my students. Many of these kids have never seen a live play, much less an opera, and the most frequent comment I hear at the end of the night is, ‘When are we coming to the next one?’ My kids and I have had great discussions on the nature of love, jealously, religion, as well as interpretation of costume, scenic, and light design. Their comments make it straight back to my classroom the next day, and become a part of our lesson. Thanks, Virginia Opera, for providing an interesting and intellectual evening my kids can afford and enjoy!”
Clyde Berry, Kings Fork High School

“I am such a supporter of this program, and I hope to bring more and more of my students in the future; they enjoyed the show as much as they could, loved the costumes, the set, and realized that opera is not a foreign, untouchable art. They even asked when the next student night would be.”
Lisa Dyer, J.R. Tucker High School

Because Virginia Opera understands very well the importance of a quality education, we have created complimentary study guides for each of our productions to enrich the opera experience. These guides, which allow readers to learn more about the opera, time period, and composer prior to attending the performance, were developed by educators to ensure that they conform to the Virginia Standards of Learning and enhance classroom teaching environments.

Student Night @ the Opera

All performances are at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk.

  • Subscriptions start at $30/Single Tickets at $10*.
  • English supertitles are projected above the stage.
  • Each production is supplemented by free downloadable study guides and program book plot synopses.
  • Most operas are considered PG-13. Our Education Department is always available to answer any questions or concerns regarding a particular production.

*These performances are intended for students with valid IDs, up to age 23. The chaperone to student ratio is 1:4. Please note that there is a $5 surcharge for tickets purchased less than 48 hours in advance of the performance. IDs will be checked at the door.

Call 804-644-8168 x3391 or email

The Girl of the Golden West

Considered the “first Spaghetti Western,” Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West) highlights the rigors of the mid- 1800’s California mining rush and depicts the rough-and-tumble world of the Wild West. The heroine is a hard-edged frontier saloon owner, Minnie, who keeps a close eye on the rowdy, card-playing miners at her establishment while holding out for her own true love.

November 8, 2017 – 7pm

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

With A Midsummer Night’s Dream, be prepared for more than a vivid retelling of Shakespeare’s classic story. This tour-de-force opera by Benjamin Britten ranks with Verdi’s masterpieces and the all-time best of comic opera. The inventive and enchanting score offers a rich display of musical parody mimicking the entangled story-lines and character interactions.

February 7, 2018 – 7pm


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The most iconic of all bel canto operas, Lucia di Lammermoor is the consummate tale of thwarted love and dashed expectations. The story, set in the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland in the 17th century, concerns the emotionally fragile Lucy Ashton, who is caught in a feud between her own family and that of the Ravenswoods. This opera paints a sensitive portrait of a woman at the breaking point, fully expressed in the most haunting and well-known operatic mad scene ever produced.

March 21, 2018 – 7 PM                                       

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Samson and Delilah

Samson and Delilah (Samson et Dalila) by Camille Saint-Saëns, depicts the Old Testament biblical story of Samson, an Israelite warrior and strongman whose secret strength lies in his uncut hair, and his love for Delilah, the woman who discovers his secret and betrays him to the Philistines. This opera features “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix,” one of the most popular arias in mezzo-soprano repertoire.

September 27, 2017 – 7pm

For Tickets, call 804.644.8168 ext. 3391

*Please note: This performance is intended for Public Schools, Private Schools, Homeschools, and Students with valid IDs up to Age 23. The chaperone to student ratio is 1:4.