Audiences are set to enjoy the entertainment and inspiration of performing ensembles of every description whether it be the local band or orchestra, opera company, drama group or a chorus. One thing is certain: for many, the performances will be marred by thoughtlessness on the part of too many people who otherwise consider themselves good citizens. These people ignore the simple rules of courtesy, or unconsciously destroy the peaceful environment necessary for enjoyment of many of the wonderful performances being offered a generally eager and appreciative audience.
Here is some concert etiquette and protocol that should be reprinted in every show program book. Simple common sense and courtesy will vastly improve the serenity and happiness of sharers in the magic of the performing arts.
Please do not .....
- Dress inappropriately
For those attending concerts in major metropolitan areas, keep in mind that audience members will probably be dressed more formally than in smaller cities or suburbs. For example, a visit to the Metropolitan Opera or the Royal Opera at Covent Garden may warrant wearing some of your most impressive finery if you enjoy dressing up. Be aware that some performing venues have very specific dress codes.
- Hum, Sing, Whistle or Tap Fingers or Feet
- Read or rustle your program
- Crack your chewing gum in your neighbors' ears
- Eat, drink or smoke
- Wear loud-ticking watches or jangle your jewelry
- Open cellophane-wrapped confectionery
- Snap open and close your purse
- Sigh with boredom
- Bring your children
- Applaud indiscriminately
- Take pictures
- Arrive late or leave early.
There are other points, of course, and each reader will have a pet peeve we have omitted. However, if just these were obeyed, going to performances would be the joy it was intended to be and we all would emerge more refreshed.