Palau de les Arts

Palau de les Arts

This viral spot by Arg!, which sought to change the image of opera, is from 2009, but it is still rather wonderful. First off, there is the sheer surprise when the greengrocer starts singing. He is much better than the blokes you usually hear down the market. Clearly, it’s in Spain, so perhaps they just have more tuneful barrow boys there.

Then, the lady (I’m not calling her fat, but she is a traditionally built soprano) sings back at him. By now, it’s beginning to be obvious this is not about offers on fruit and veg. It all gets quite passionate vocally. Then the master stroke: a bloke with a shopping trolley – a genuine old-lady-style bag on wheels – chips in. And, boy, can he sing too. Don’t ever let a shopping trolley fool you.

After that, they keep on coming. The crowd reactions are tremendous. They don’t know where to look. One or two seem to think they should join in, which is brave and/or foolish, but also touching.

You might think six minutes of this is a bit long. Once you have got the idea, that’s it, isn’t it? But, in fact, the singing is so good and the whole performance so fine that it keeps drawing you in. The people in the market are, in some cases, moved to tears – and you may be too.

Towards the end, a sign appears that says (in Spanish): "See how much you like opera?" And that’s it.

There have been many more flashmobs since, but few as moving. Or as effective. This is product demonstration on a grand scale. Almost any argument you could make for opera will stumble on a host of preconceptions.

This short film cuts the crap and puts you into the middle of the experience.
It must have been intense to be there. But the film is perhaps even better because you get to see the audience reactions all around the market, and that completes the picture – this is what opera can do to you. You feel it with them too.


You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).