Cape Town Opera singers surprise airplane passengers with unexpected Verdi chorus

1 August 2022, 17:03 | Updated: 2 August 2022, 12:03

Singers from Cape Town Opera serenaded a plane full of passengers travelling to Johannesburg last month.
Singers from Cape Town Opera serenaded a plane full of passengers travelling to Johannesburg last month. Picture: LIFT / Facebook

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

Passengers on a domestic flight in South Africa were unaware their ticket would include operatic in-flight entertainment...

Last month, Africa’s premiere opera company, Cape Town Opera, toured a production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro to Roodepoort Theater.

Roodepoort is a town within the municipality of Johannesburg, some 1,400 miles away from the opera company’s base in the South African legislative capital, Cape Town.

For the tour, the opera company announced at the end of June earlier this year, that their flights would be sponsored by new South African airline, LIFT. Cape Town Opera called the deal an “upLIFTment of African Artists”, sharing thanks to the airline on its website in a recent news piece.

Sharing their gratitude, members of the Cape Town Opera even performed for the other passengers who were travelling with them on their flights.

On the company’s flight out from Cape Town to Johannesburg, a group of singers sang into the plane’s intercom system, delighting passengers with a rendition of Brindisi (The Drinking Song) from Verdi’s opera, La Traviata. Watch the moment below.

Read more: An airline asked this violinist to play for other passengers – in exchange for overhead space


The singers would later repeat the performance, but this time, they moved their stage to the aisle of the plane.

This resulted in a flashmob-type serenade as the majority of passengers hurriedly reached for their phones, attempting to document the mile-high music (watch below).

A real high note flying Cape Town Opera 🎶✈️ Hands up if you were on this special flight!

Posted by LIFT Airline on Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Future passengers of LIFT who are classical musicians may be upset to learn that these two performances were one-off experiences and won’t become a fixed form of in-flight entertainment for the airline.

Though we wouldn’t say no to a full performance of La Traviata next time we’re in the skies... so, who’s going to invent the first flying opera house for us?