Going to the Opera
The Journal Theatre at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
The Journal Theatre is a modern auditorium with state-of-the-art acoustics and production facilities. Its 631 seats help to preserve the wonderful intimacy that is a hallmark of Opera Southwest productions. Excellent audience amenities include wide and comfortable seats, wide rows, ample restrooms and plenty of free parking. Less than five minutes from I-25 at the Avenida César Chávez exit, the NHCC street address is 1701 Fourth Street SW, which is at the intersection of Fourth Street SW and Avenida César Chávez.
From I-25, exit Avenida César Chávez and follow it west over the railroad tracks. Enter the parking lot by turning left at the Eighth Street traffic light.
From Downtown Albuquerque, follow Fourth Street south to Avenida César Chávez.
Plenty of free, well-lit parking is available at the NHCC. The lots are patrolled by security guards for extra safety. Patrons with limited mobility are welcome to use the shuttle cart from the parking lot directly to the front door of the theatre.
When to Arrive
All Opera Southwest evening performances begin at 7:30; Sunday matinees start at 2 p.m. Out of respect for the performers and for the patrons who have arrived on time, latecomers will be seated at a suitable break. This also applies to people who must leave the theatre during a performance.
If you plan to attend the pre-performance talk about 45 minutes before curtain time, you’ll not only learn more about the opera but also have plenty of time to settle into your Journal Theatre seat.
What Should I Wear?
For many people, an evening at the opera is a perfect opportunity to dress up and enjoy a night on the town. Others choose to wear suits and dresses, and still others prefer to go a bit more casual. Most importantly, be comfortable and choose what most suits you!
Is There Food?
The NHCC refreshment stand in the east lobby sells soft drinks, wine, beer and snacks before the opera and during intermissions. La Fonda del Bosque, a contemporary latin restaurant, is located on the grounds of the National Hispanic Cultural Center for lunch or dinner before the show.
When Should I Applaud?
The performers love to hear your applause! It lets them know you’re enjoying the show and that you appreciate their efforts. People applaud in two places: after an aria and when there is a definite peak to the action. If you’re in doubt, wait until other audience members applaud; they’ll usually let you know when the moment is right.
Personal Electronic Devices
As a courtesy to the artists and others in the audience, be sure to silence all cell phones and other devices while in the theatre. Taking photographs is strictly forbidden and violators’ cameras will be confiscated until after the performance.
If you plan to bring a child, please be sure that he or she is able to sit still and remain silent. Should your child be unable to do so, please leave the theatre at once so as not to disturb others in the audience.
For all productions not sung in English, Opera Southwest uses supertitles, which are brief, easy translations projected above the stage. Supertitles ensure you won’t miss any of the jokes or intrigue, regardless of the opera’s original language.
Guild Gift Shop
Whether you are looking for a gift or just want a souvenir of the occasion, the Opera Southwest Guild’s gift shop has a range of reasonably priced merchandise sure to please. All profits support Opera Southwest. The gift shop is located in the east lobby across from the NHCC refreshment stand, and accepts cash, checks and credit cards.