Wednesday, 6 October 2004

Flashmob - The Opera

Having been invited and then uninvited I turned on morning news to discover that it was actually occuring so I re-invited myself via the BBC. So as far as I knew when I re-invited myself there was something to do with Paddington Station, some popular opera and a flashmob.

"BBC Three premières a new opera, staged live amongst commuters in one of Britain’s busiest railway stations, with the aid of a spontaneous flashmob."

My emailed instructions said: Wednesday October 6th come to Paddington Station at 20.34. Surnames A to D at Eastbourne Terrace entrace by Sainsburys. We came in through that entrance and wandered onto the concourse, saw the orchestra, found a couple of opera singers duetting and ending in a kiss. Then found someone holding a flash-mob pamphlet and went in search of the 'lady with the music'. Found the flashmob being held in the 'wings', was given a copy of the music. We were to join in with the chorus of Nessun Dorma from Puccini's Turandot. We waited, a small group, with anticipation.

And then our entrance was made, sweeping in, to stand around a Tenor in a red football shirt who was singing the Nessun Dorma. On our cue (the tenor kissing the girl in the red coat) we sang, some of us loudly with pride and others quietly sort of hiding,
'O love for all et-ern-it-y!
Love is the torch that burns for ev-er and in love we ex-ult
in grat-it-tude for safe-ty and hap-pin-ess!
Ev-er more!
Ev er more!

The policemen who appeared to have come straight from Zed Cars (in the original uniforms with the original actors in them), and some non-too convincing chelsea supporters joined in. The cameras swung round the crowd. There was applause and cheering and we were gone. Back to the wet streets of Paddington.

It felt chaotic, with frantic orchestration by people with clipboards and headsets, the flashmob was a mixed group older and odder than ususal. And I can't imagine it sounded too great or looked particularly spontaneous. But we had a good time. Roll on next time!

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