Planet Deluxe is a contemporary opera, with story based on the content of TikTok application. The piece addresses aspects of power and influence in modern communication, as well as consumerism and the influence of opinion leaders upon general public. Planet Deluxe is a place where the faultless dwell, where everyone strives for an imaginary perfection, presenting their lives only in brightest colours. A piece about the efforts and desire of contemporary young person to discover his/her connection with the world and himself/herself through use of digital technologies.
TikTok opera is a collage, synthesis of electronic and popular music consisting of short fragments joined together into a uniform whole by composer Jūra Elena Šedytė. This approach embodies the functional principle of TikTok application: rapidly changing catchy stories and music, intense tempo, memorable melodies and diversity of genres. Musical pieces created by different authors or formerly popular music works “lent” to the opera resemble segments of a single painting consisting of numerous original brushstrokes.
Opera Planet Deluxe presents a gallery of five characters, or five TikTok user accounts, acting as alter egos of opera creators:
Creators about the TikTok opera:
Opera’s action is based on ceaseless flow of quickly memorable visuals and flawless images experienced by modern man, who often turns into the self-constructed character of social networks. Five characters, five alter egos of opera creators – these people exist in the digital life of Planet Deluxe and they meet live on the opera stage.
Director, author of the libretto Greta Štiormer
Operatic and bel canto singing are combined with genres of alternative popular music. Choice of different music genres draws the viewers into the flow of information, highlighting diverse psychological portraits of the characters.
Composer Jūra Elena Šedytė
Video inspirations for the opera were drawn from the visual codes, manners of communication and behavioural trends dominant at TikTok platform. Imagery is created by combining animated 3D aesthetics of computer games and live video recordings into rapidly changing compositions. Moving these images from phone screens into the opera hall provides some space to stand back and briefly “exit” the social media flow in order to see it through the eyes of the other, perhaps the one that is watching us.
Video artist Aistė Marija Stankevičiūtė
Social networks and interactions in alternative reality are transferred to the stage via experimental synthesis of image, music and movement. Just like the quest for the points of contacts that alters perception of communication, this opera strives to present the virtuality surrounding its characters.
Choreographer Denisas Kolomyckis
Producers: Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, Operomanija
The piece was developed in cooperation with Aurelija Bulaukaitė and Agnė Jokšė
Premiere: October 18, 2022, Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (Main Hall)
In Lithuanian and English, with Lithuanian and English surtitles
Warning: strobe lights will be used during the performance
TikTok opera Planet Deluxe is the first premiere from the contemporary opera project Opera Genome carried out by the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre and Operomanija production company.
Fragments of the libretto of the piece were inspired by the following TikTok content: song Everything That I Need I Already Have (by Paula Wilhite), song Money Mantra (by King Soon). Other sources of inspiration include speech Be a Lady They Said by Cynthia Nixon and song Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels (from Todrick Hall’s repertoire). The songs Ekranai and Terapija by the duet Liudmila were used in the opera.