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Flashmob: The opera

Last night I was surfing through my tv channels when something caught my eye on BBC Three – a channel whose target audience is late teens to early thirties. It was called “Flashmob: The Opera“. Now my knowledge of flashmobs is that text messages and emails get sent out and dissipate through various social networks until a group of strangers meet up at a specific time at a specific place, perform some kind of pre-arranged action and then disappear again into the streets.

This seemed to be fairly different. The BBC, an orchestra and a group of opera singers had got invited this time. The scene was what seemed to a late evening Paddington Station, London. There was an orchestra assembled in one of the restaurant areas on the upper level. I missed the very beginning, but the whole thing was given a modern tilt, with a love story between two commuters and a third Charlton Athletic fan who was keen to get the girl for himself. The flashmobbers, it appeared, where a variety of people dressed as chelsea supporters, policemen and other sorts, although these people might have been included in the choreography itself.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve got no clue about opera whatsoever, but I found myself glued to the screen watching not only opera singers wearing regular everyday clothes singing in regular everyday lyrics (at one point the chorus went “You loser!!”). This was great not only people like me who would have never considered watching an opera, but also the commuters passing through Paddington station – I admit that part of the attraction of watching was seeing the quizzical look of people who had just arrived as they walked across the camera!

This may firstly encourage a whole new wave of poeple interested in opera (maybe?!?), but also a torrent of tourists who will assume that the average Londoner communicates with their partners by singing in baritone or soprano in public.

Aside:
Infinite Image – freakily entrancing [Via Kottke.org]

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