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:
- Agnė – a lesbian struggling with eating disorders; she possesses artistic talents and earns minimum wage. She is sensitive, lyric, romantic. Likes long distance walks alone and loves surprising her girlfriend.
- Vilius – a workaholic with impeccable reputation at work, involved in humanitarian activities. Gay, turning into a drag queen character in his spare time – true party diva and queen of the stage.
- Valerija – a partygoer, fond of psychoactive substances. Actively interested in spiritual practices and conspiracy theories.
- Robertas – a courier. Invests into cryptocurrencies, tries to earn his million. Believes that future wellbeing lies in modern technologies and artificial intelligence.
- Margo – a singer, yet another diva. Sugar daddy dependant. Regular goer to talk shows, where she talks about her hard past and how she managed to change that.
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
Swapping of performance and audience spaces has equalised the power relations between creator and viewer, allowing to view the opera act as daily routine articulated via artistic means, not as distant fiction.Justina Paltanavičiūtė, mic.lt
Characters of the opera tell of troublesome life, however, they appear to be happy, as if they were honestly enjoying what TikTok gives them and were glad to accept its obligations. Planet Deluxe is like the background of a perfect life, disclosed without trying to evoke pity.Aušra Kaminskaitė, LRT.lt