October 11, 2010
If you could change the atmosphere or a large public place, how would you do it?
My grandchildren laugh at old musicals where people walking down the street suddenly burst into song, at which point bystanders join in and dance. They claim that such spontaneous outbursts wouldn’t happen in “real life.” Really?
They need to watch a video my brother recently sent me. It was taken April 24 at the Reading Terminal Market Italian Festival in Philadelphia. Thirty members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus — together with the principal cast members from their upcoming production of La Traviata — started singing after the first orchestral strains of the famed “Brindisi” were piped over the loudspeaker. The rousing, surprise performance delighted hundreds of onlookers who were there to simply enjoy the Italian delicacies offered by the Market.
How would you react if you were at a mall or just walking down the street when suddenly there was music, even operatic music?
If you enjoyed that, you may want to see the YouTube video of Sound of Music at the Central Station in Antwerp in Belgium).
Notice in both of these videos that people watching the event find a pleasant connection with others, even if only for a short while. The unexpected music has brought them together and life feels a bit less pressured than it was the moment before the music began.
What would it be like to enter a public arena and not know what kind of pleasant surprise someone planned for the occasion — but know that it was going to happen one day soon? Would you watch the other people differently than you do now, not knowing who was the special instigator of a delightful event?
Ask yourself these questions:
What kind of performance would I like to see in a large public place like a mall or park?
What kind of music would please me most?
Who would I like to have with me? Why?
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