A little musical relief, thanks to a 'Random Act of Culture' in Philadelphia Macy's store
A little trend earlier this year had singers breaking into opera in the middle of public spaces, an unusual attention-grabber, to be sure. Young artists from Washington National Opera tried out the shtick at a grocery store in Baltimore to promote a concert with the BSO, for example; and members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia had similar fun drawing attention to its activity with a spontaneous vocal eruption at an Italian market.
Last weekend, that same Opera Company of Philadelphia put together an even bigger musical surprise with the help of 28 other organizations. This event, one of the "Random Acts of Culture" being spearheaded by the Knight Foundation over the next few years, brought together more than 650 choristers who mingled with shoppers at the Macy's store in Center City Philadelphia (the grand building's ancestry goes back to the 1870s, when it opened as Wanamaker's original department store).
At noon on Saturday, the famous Wanamaker Organ could be heard breaking into the opening measures of
the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah," and those hundreds of choristers located all over the place chimed in right on cue, startling the heck out of unsuspecting customers. A very cool, feel-good venture that I thought would be well worth sharing with you right about now: