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Insta-divas: How social media has become the next stage for opera stars


French tenor Bernheim, who made his American debut in the title role of Gounod’s Faust with
Lyric Opera of Chicago last season, says users should “see us as people that they can reach,”
instead of distant, haughty artists. He adds that the platform is useful to connect with “younger
generations of singers who want more feedback, or experience of stories about how we began
our careers. It allows us to have a link.”

Bernheim, with Renaud’s help, maintains a highly curated Instagram page focusing solely on his
career. There are photos of him in suits, in jeans, of opera house exteriors and shots from the
stage; fashionable, slick, visually meticulous, his feed is a lesson in high-end marketing. “I really
wanted to work with someone and not be alone with this because I didn’t trust my own
perspective,” Bernheim explains. “I wanted two opinions to brainstorm, to think about strategy.”

“He didn’t want to show as much of his personal life, he really wanted it to be about singing,”
Renaud explains, “and I felt that this look fit with the message we were trying to project, and the
types of roles he’s singing – romantic heroes. We wanted people to feel they were knowing a
certain aspect of him.”