This Opera Flash Mob Took Shoppers By Surprise

January 9th, 2019

When’s the last time you went to the mall?

Though some of us probably spent plenty of time at these shopping megaplexes when we were kids, they’re not always the most enjoyable places to spend time as adults. The mall is often crowded, loud and packed full of things that we don’t really need to buy. Though there’s something comforting sometimes about shopping at local mom and pop shops, the mall isn’t exactly the warmest place to go.

Still, sometimes special events at the mall can make the whole experience a little bit brighter.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

That’s what happened to a lucky group of shoppers in Leeds in the United Kingdom.

Although nobody expected anything, a group called Opera North had something special in mind. The organization is an opera company who works primarily out of Leeds Grand Theater. They have a full orchestra and are accomplished musicians… and on one special day, they decided to plan a flash mob at the local shopping center.

Needless to say, nobody expected it to have as much impact as it did.

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The Opera North orchestra decided to perform Bolero, a one-movement piece by French composer Maurice Ravel.

For those who don’t know, the piece was originally composed as a ballet and premiered in 1928. To this day, it is still Ravel’s most famous composition—and Opera North were definitely able to do it justice. To start things off, one of the musicians plays a quiet introduction on a drum. A moment later, another one rolls in a giant harp under a covering.

As soon as the passersby realize what’s happening, everyone gathers around and starts filming.

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A few moments later, a flutist appears and starts playing as well.

After that, they bring in string instruments, violins, oboes and all kinds of other instruments. The best thing about it all is that most of the musicians simply look like they were there to shop! Before long, an entire orchestra has assembled and the crowd around them has grown tremendously.

While the music starts off relatively modestly, it gradually grows in intensity.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Although not everyone knows much classical music by name, the piece becomes more and more recognizable as it goes on.

As the intensity swells, even more players come down on escalators and join in the performance! By the end, they’ve brought in another a drummer and the strings have swelled to the utmost intensity. Finally, the last note is struck and the performance ends.

When it’s all over, the crowd erupts into applause!

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

So far, the clip has more than seven and a half million views on YouTube—though that number is sure to grow over time.

Though the performance definitely serves as a great advertisement for the company, it also helps remind us just how exciting classical music can be. Still, this isn’t the only time Opera North has conspired to surprise a crowd of shoppers with a musical performance. On another occasion at the same shopping center, they performed a stirring rendition of “Kiss Me, Kate,” a musical based on Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew.

While it doesn’t have as many views as the other clip, it’s just as entertaining.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Once again, the performance started with what looked like a passerby bursting into song.

Before long, many more players jump in as well and there are a whole company of actors singing and dancing. The song they perform is “Too Darn Hot,” and as the song picks up the crowd gets bigger and bigger. After the singing ends, the group bursts into some energetic choreography as well! After a few final flourishes, the performance ends.

When it’s all over, the crowd applauds once again.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Although everyone loves a good flash mob, Opera North seems to have mastered it as a way to market themselves.

Even if you’re not normally a fan of classical music, their hilarious and passionate performance of Bolero is sure to win you over no matter what. If you liked these videos, be sure to check out Opera North’s YouTube channel for information about the group and their upcoming performances. If you’re in the area, maybe consider taking your family to a show!

Congratulations on the great performances, guys!

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Sources: Wikipedia (1, 2), YouTube/Opera North