Dress rehearsal

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A dress rehearsal (short: GP) is the last rehearsal before the premiere of a play , an opera , an operetta or a concert . Correspondingly, the penultimate and third from last samples are referred to as main samples . Musicians also refer to the last rehearsal before a concert as a dress rehearsal. In everyday language, the term has also become a general term for a final test run .

Theater and opera

The dress rehearsal usually takes place one, in the opera usually two days before the premiere . The piece should proceed as if it were a correct performance. The director and / or conductor still have the chance to intervene in the event during the dress rehearsal, but ideally the rehearsal should "run through" without interruption.

The dress rehearsal, like the main rehearsals, is carried out in the original stage design, with original lighting, in the provided costumes and with make-up, in contrast to normal rehearsals, where there is no special lighting, the stage design is often only hinted at and the singers / Actors appear without make-up and in private clothing. In the English-speaking world, the GP is called "Dress Rehearsal" in contrast to the normal rehearsal.

A dress rehearsal often takes place in front of the audience in order to assess their reactions. For this request, the "Preview" were mentioned in the Anglo-American previews .

Concert operations

In instrumental concerts, the dress rehearsal usually does not have the same status as in the performing arts. It is only the last of a series of rehearsals, but as a rule each piece is played (at least) once without interruption.

What is particularly important for the dress rehearsal is that all musicians involved have to be permanently present, for example soloists on tour who only join the orchestra for the dress rehearsal , or international star conductors who only take over the orchestra during the dress rehearsal. It is also important that the dress rehearsal takes place at the location where the concert will later be played. After the final rehearsal, the musicians can familiarize themselves again with the acoustic conditions and the allocation of space on the stage.

As in the theater and opera business, the jokingly superstitious motto that a failed dress rehearsal leads to a good performance also applies here . For this reason, applause at the end of the dress rehearsal is frowned upon by theater people, as it should bring bad luck for the premiere.

A rehearsal can follow the dress rehearsal if it could not take place at the place of performance for practical reasons or if it makes it easier for the musicians (due to the small number of rehearsals) to find their way into the music shortly before the concert .

Common usage

In common parlance, the term dress rehearsal is often used as a metaphor for a final trial run before an important event or event.


  • a final test run before a science experiment to be demonstrated
  • one last training run before an important competition or game in sport
  • a final exercise by the security forces before a (large) event that is difficult to organize, such as an international football match or a state visit with high security requirements

Web links

Wiktionary: dress rehearsal  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations