SO YOU HAVE YOUR OPERA tickets, what next? If you don’t, it may not be too late. See below. The Metropolitan Opera performs in Dallas in the State Fair Music Hall, in Fair Park. Football devotees will know it as the large auditorium near the Cotton Bowl. Fair Park is easily reached, on plainly marked exits from I.H. 20 ( R. L. Thornton Freeway).
Parking inside the Park is free to opera-goers, except that the nearest lot is reserved for Patrons of the Dallas Grand Opera Association. Be a little early to insure a convenient parking place, and to be sure you won’t be late to the opera. No one is seated after the lights go down.
What to wear to the opera? Almost anything from formal evening wear, to street dresses, to pants suits. Formal dress is seen less and less as time goes by, but if you have a gown you want to show off, it’s still all right. Business suits are fine for men. Whatever you wear, you can expect to be stared at. That’s the chief occupation of almost everyone (after a glance at the program) while waiting for the opera to begin. And ladies, even Bella Abzug should leave her hat at home when she goes to the opera.
The Music Hall has been completely renovated since the last Metropolitan Opera Spring Tour season in Dallas, two years ago. It is now resplendent and exceptionally comfortable. Even the armrests are padded. There is a bar and a long row of telephones for anyone who gets a little too much opera for one sitting.
What to do before and after the opera? See “Around the State” in this magazine for information on restaurants, museums, etc. Right in Fair Park you will find the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Aquarium, the Health and Science Museum and Planetarium, and the Museum of Natural History. There are restaurants there too; come early and make a day of it. If all else fails, you can always sit on the benches and watch the ducks on the pond next to the Fine Arts Museum.
If you really came to Dallas because you like good music, and have an FM radio in your car, tune in WRR-FM (101.1) as soon as you are in FM range of Dallas, for twenty hours a day of excellent classical music programming.
If you still haven’t gotten your opera tickets, it’s probably not too late. There are no really bad seats in the auditorium, except perhaps the very cheapest, which are somewhat remote from the stage. Order them