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Minnesota Opera
The Ordway, 345 Washington Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
612-333-6669
Admission: $25.00
Individual ticket prices range from $25-$200
Scroll down for a ticket link.
Concessions Available
See Website for Specific Performances: Patron Services: M-F, 10am-5pm | 612-333-6669

Opera can be one of the more daunting art forms. I admit I was worried I would be bored and uncomfortable the first time I attended The Minnesota Opera. Opera’s tend to be long and, even when sung in English, it can be hard to follow a conversation sung soprano. When I got there, I was engrossed and fell in love.  My fears were relieved. First, modern operas display subtitles for the audience, so you can always follow the story. Second, it was just a really great story and the performers brought it to life. Perhaps most importantly, the seating is comfortable, so sitting for three hours did not leave me squirming.

Attending Minnesota Opera With Kids

What about attending with kids? I recommend giving it a try after your kids are able to sit through full length children’s theater performances. While operas tend to be more expensive and have longer performance times than other forms of theater, if you cut your teeth on children’s theater, it is not as daunting as its reputation suggests. Once you get past the language barrier, opera is simply a cross between a musical and a classical orchestra performance.

Young boy standing in front of poster that reads "Project Opera presents Memory Boy. Opera for kids of all ages."

It is good to keep in mind that while we share operas that may have themes that could interest children, children under six are not allowed in the hall. Opera may be best suited to children who are experienced theatergoers and strong readers. For younger children, check out the Minnesota Opera’s Youth Opera program, which has historically performed shorter, all-ages program in English. The downside is that they tend to perform in smaller theaters where seating is not as cushy.


Minnesota Opera 2023-24 Season

Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon)

November 4–12, 2023
Location: Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington Street, St Paul, MN 55102
Age Recommendations
:  The New York City Opera sold Adult+Child tickets to this opera for kids ages 5+.
Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes – no intermission.
Language
: Spanish/English with English Subtitles
Description: The World’s first mariachi opera follows three generations of the Velásquez family, who are separated by the U.S./Mexican border. A modern story that “reminds us that family knows no borders”.

The Elixir of Love

January 27–February 4, 2024
Location: Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington Street, St Paul, MN 55102
Age Recommendations
:  The East Bay Times gave this a 6+ rating when the San Francisco Opera performed it. Kids enjoyed the goofy, comical story.
Time: This opera usually runs 2 1/2 hours with one intermission.
Language: Italian with English Subtitles
Description: Young Nemorino drinks a love potion to try to win the heart of the beautiful Adina.

Trouble in Tahiti & Service Provider

March 9-23, 2024
Location: Luminary Arts Center, 700 North First Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Age Recommendations:  Ages 10+.
Time: 1 hour total. Trouble in Tahiti runs 40 minutes; 20 minutes.
Language: English with English Subtitles
Description: Two short operas with themes that make this show best for teens & tweens.

La Bohème

May 4–12, 2024
Location: Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington Street, St Paul, MN 55102
Age Recommendations:  The Minnesota Opera made a lesson plan geared towards grades 9-12 when it performed La Bohème in the past. The opera has some mature topics.
Time: This opera usually runs 2 hours and 35 minutes with one intermission.
Language: Italian with English Subtitles
Description: A classic love story between to poor Bohemians in Paris.


Other Ways to Introduce Children to Opera

The Minnesota Opera offers Youth Opera Programs including summer camps and training programs. for kids ages 4 and up..

Camille’s Rainbow is a performance for babies and toddlers co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Minnesota Opera. You can introduce the youngest children to opera with this series of short videos animated by Dan Scully featuring the music of Camille’s Rainbow.

If you want to introduce your child to opera at home, you could consider a book like Sing Me a Story: The Metropolitan Opera’s Book of Opera Stories for Children. We’ve included a Bookshop.org affiliate link and we receive a small commission on any sales through this link. You can also find similar books at the library.

This article includes an affiliate link to Bookshop.org, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission on books ordered through our link. If you want to find a specific local bookstore to support, find them on this map and they’ll receive the full profit off your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop). Learn more here.

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