Opera Glasses - (Scientific Instruments, Optical) Opera Glasses are a small pair of Binoculars used by women attending the opera and plays. They helped to bring the audience closer to the actors, facilitating a greater sense of intimacy and making the theatre experience that much more special. Opera glasses have been a visible part of theatre-life since the early 1800s. As well as being advertised for loan in theatre playbills in the second quarter of the 19th century, the term 'Opera Glass' was used 'as the title for no fewer that four theatrical and musical periodicals'. They came in many styles from the small binocular type and some had folding handles for holding them up to your eyes. The bodies of the glasses were also decorated with many different types of materials from mother-of-pearl, silver, and leather.