Tiger King 2 'opera' on TikTok stars Max and Harvey, other TikTokers

"(Joe) just wants fame, that's all that he's askin,' but you don't play games with Carole Baskin."

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Tiger King has inspired an opera.

Jován Pulgarín/CNET

Tiger King has returned -- and not only for a second Netflix season, but to a different medium entirely.  The English National Opera has teamed with TikTok stars for a five-part "opera" based on the hit 2020 documentary about Joe Exotic and his wild-animal park.

"TikTok felt like the perfect place to reimagine epic stories for the social media age and bring opera to a new audience," the English National Opera said in a tweet sent Wednesday.

Tiger King 2: The TikTopera is set to the music of Georges Bizet's Carmen. And since all of the verses are fairly short, it's not nearly as long as a typical opera. But musically, it's operatic -- the verses are performed by the English National Opera's orchestra and a 40-person chorus. Not quite sure if the audience for Tiger King and that for opera overlap at all, but someone at Netflix liked the idea.

"Cool cats and kittens, let the binge begin," sings TikTok personality Hannah Lowther. "It's the return of the Tiger King."

Lowther just has the first verse. The other four Tiger King-meets-opera verses are performed by TikTok personalities Sophia Aurora, Hellovicco, X Factor finalists Max and Harvey, and Britain's Got Talent's Phil Green.

"(Joe) just wants fame, that's all that he's askin,' but you don't play games with Carole Baskin," sing Max and Harvey in their verse.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness was a huge hit for Netflix in the spring of 2020, when many viewers were stuck at home as pandemic lockdowns began. The show focuses on Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who goes by Joe Exotic, and the soap-opera-like drama of his Oklahoma exotic-animal park. Madonado-Passage is now serving 22 years in prison for charges related to his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot involving his nemesis, activist Carole Baskin.

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