Opera Has Made It To TikTok

There have been a lot of new phrases and words added to our regular vernacular in 2020—social distancing, PPE, COVID-19—but one of the newest crazes on everyone’s lips is TikTok. This social app has been sweeping the nation, making international news headlines, and cultivating creativity in young people during a time when creative energy is needed more than ever. TikTok is a short form video platform that uses saved samples of music and sounds that then allows users to create their own new video content like dances, comedy bits and lip synchingJust as when other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram began their rise in popularity and wide acceptance, TikTok has made connecting with one another even easier. It's amazingly popular and, you might be suprised to learn, also a great place to find operatic content.

That’s right—opera is all over TikTok, if you look for it. Whether it’s from fellow acclaimed opera houses, directly from our favorite artists, or from up-and-coming young opera hopefuls, there is yet another “virtual concert” happening daily on the TikTok app as artists share the joy of music with the world. Just search #opera in the platform to discover goofy attempts at the Queen of the Night’s famous aria from The Magic Flute, behind-the-scenes looks at your favorite opera singers backstage, or clips from beloved productions.

Here are some of the ways you’ll find opera on TikTok:

Through world-class artists:

Yes, the Royal Opera House, one of the world’s leading opera companies, has its own TikTok and we’re obsessed with it. Their account showcases snippets of some of the Royal Ballet’s best performances, and arias from their young artist program ensemble members. Check out this powerful clip of soprano Ermonel Jaho performing the last scene from La Traviata:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

Or this quick guide to opera’s six voice types, educating young people on the range of singers:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

Behind the scenes exclusives:

A veritable queen of opera-related social media, Rachel Willis Sorenson is, of course, all over TikTok. Rachel has been delighting social audiences for years with her video series on #RestaurantswithRachel as she travels the world for performances, and with fake diary entries of opera characters she’s portraying—so naturally a video-sharing social platform was the perfect fit! Here’s Rachel describing her lipstick tricks for romantic opera roles:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

Here Rachel describes her Donna Anna costumes for the finale of Lyric's production of Don Giovanni, designed by Ana Kuzmanic

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

@curveyelle shares the stages of panic that all opera singers experience when they think they might be sick:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

Your favorite TikTok trends, but make it opera:

Soprano Merissa Beddows, currently a student at the Curtis Institute Of Music, has made quite a splash on the app with her operatic take on current TikTok trends. Here is Merissa doing a classic TikTok duet video to Ave Maria:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

“Kombucha girl,” aka Brittany Broski, found fame from a TikTok of her trying kombucha for the first time. @tiktokopera parodied that video, but with an operatic twist:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

Maybe a little helium will help you hit the high notes in the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute?:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

Just some good ‘ol operatic fun:

@tiktokopera reminds us exactly how we feel when it’s time for an opera intermission:

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Sometimes you just need a beautiful, operatic voice to calm you down. Or blow you away:

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Everyone loves an opera singer singing into a echoey cavernous tunnel:

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Sorry it’s truesometimes women play men better than men in opera…

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If you bring your opera friends to your birthday dinner, this might happen:

Having trouble playing the video? Click to view on tiktok.com.

TikTok loves videos about operaand so does Lyric! Check out Lyric Opera of Chicago's YouTube channel for virtual concerts, clips of some of our favorite performances, and behinds the scenes looks.

Photo: Kyle Flubacker