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Article Published: 01 Jan 2020

How to #meetopera

How do you turn the opera-curious into tomorrow’s operagoers? That’s the question that prompted OPERA America to develop #MeetOpera — a national promotional campaign that aims to inspire interest in opera and reshape the way people view the art form. The campaign, which launched on January 6, has engaged staff from OA’s Professional Company Members to incorporate #meetopera into their companies’ social media campaigns. They’re joined by nearly 40 campaign ambassadors: figures like Angel Blue, Jake Heggie, Jamie Barton, Ailyn Pérez and David T. Little who will help spread the word about #meetopera.

“There are so many different operatic expe­riences — myriad venues, styles and stories of opera across this country,” says conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, a campaign ambassador, “and #meetopera is introducing audiences to the diverse faces and creatives behind this art form.”

Many newcomers are introduced to opera by a friend or family member, and #meetopera attempts to replicate such personal introduc­tions on a much larger scale. Participants are encouraged “to be the friend who helps people meet opera” and use casual, welcoming lan­guage in social media posts. They can also post about how they first “met” opera, showcasing the variety of entry points to the art form.

The success of #MeetOpera will be measured based on the reach of social media posts and increases in followers. (So far, on Instagram and Twitter, the campaign has generated over 2,000 posts, a reach of 5.2 million users and 12.3 million impressions.) The hope is that social media engagement may lead to in-per­son attendance. “There is simply nothing like experiencing a live opera,” says Yankovska­ya. “Opera is the only art form that brings so many elements together and magnifies them: music, visual art, video, dance, fashion, technical elements, and that most primal and powerful form of expression — the human voice.”

Visit meetopera.org to learn how you can participate in the #MeetOpera campaign.

This article was published in the Winter 2020 issue of Opera America Magazine.