Standers, Miss Mussel Needs You

Miss Mussel is writing a piece about standing room culture and needs to chat with some regulars from opera houses around the world about what it’s like.

You can leave good/bad experiences and tips for new standers/things you’d wished you knew in the comments if you like or email hello [at]

In your experience, which opera house has the best standing room?
What kind of people are there? [old, young, rabid fans, casual drop-ins]

Also, if you could mention what houses you stand at and what the sound is like compared to other sections that would be helpful as well.

If you can afford to sit, why do you choose to stand?

And finally, what houses aside from The Met, Covent Garden and Vienna have standing rooms?


  1. Marian Michener

    I love standing at Seattle Opera. Technically, one is supposed to stand, but everyone slips into seats. The main motivation is that the tickets are much cheaper. Standers at SO vary by age. I understand General Directo Speight Jenkins insisted on the creation of standing room when the opera house was being remodelled, because that had been his introduction to opera.

  2. A friend and I stood at the Met back in… wow, time flies… 2001. She was a huge Dawn Upshaw fan, so had to hear The Great Gatsby no matter what. I remember we were roped in with a velvet rope by the uniform-wearing ushers, which we didn’t like one bit. Because of this we had to wait for the intermission to slip into empty seats in the middle of the parterre — and there were plenty of those.

    I agree with the first commenter: a good house for standing is the one where they’ll turn a blind eye if you move to an empty seat just as the lights are dimming. The bad ones will have a system in place to prevent that.

  3. Evelyn

    The Seattle Opera is very gracious to standing room patrons. I was concerned about sitting during the show and I asked an usher. She said, “We cannot tell you that you can sit down, but once we close the doors, you are on your own.” I like the main floor seats which are too expensive for me to buy tickets.

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