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  • Watch: Hundreds perform in ‘Va, pensiero’ flashmob in Covent Garden Piazza


Watch: Hundreds perform in ‘Va, pensiero’ flashmob in Covent Garden Piazza


Event saw members of the public and professionals take part in a special Deloitte Ignite event.

By Mimi Doulton (Music Student at Kings College, London.)

24 September 2013 at 5.16pm | 12 Comments

Last Sunday a packed Covent Garden Piazza saw attention temporarily diverted from frenzied shopping and cross-disciplinary buskers by a large group of people singing (seemingly spontaneously) in Italian. The performance – or ‘flashmob’ - brought the Festival of Voices to a close; part of Stephen Fry’s Deloitte Ignite festival.

Amateurs and professionals alike joined together to perform Verdi’s rousing ‘Va pensiero’ chorus from Nabucco following a series of free performances and workshops. The event featured the BBC Symphony Chorus, topped by the fantastic sound of the Brass Section from the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Throughout the day members of the public attended concerts in the Royal Opera House’s Paul Hamlyn Hall from community choirs Mind and Soul, the Choir with No Name, Chantage, Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus and the Deloitte Choir. The groups sang a wide variety of music, ranging from Lotti’s Crucifixus to Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’.

Upstairs in the Clore Studio choral ambassador Dominic Peckham and vocal animateur Suzi Zumpe ran three inspiring workshops for Royal Opera House newcomers. Singers from the BBC Symphony Chorus and brass players from the BBC Concert Orchestra joined them as they learned Verdi’s famous chorus ready for the early evening performance which stopped passers-by in their tracks.

We will be publishing a film looking behind the scenes of the full day later in the week – but wanted to give a glimpse of an amazing part of the Festival of Voices.

Deloitte Ignite culminates this weekend with a live-stream of The Science of Opera event featuring festival curator Stephen Fry and Alan Davies. The event will examine the physiological responses to great art and what causes them.

By Mimi Doulton (Music Student at Kings College, London.)

24 September 2013 at 5.16pm

This article has been categorised Music and tagged Choir, choral, Covent Garden, Deloitte Ignite, flashmob, performance, singing, Va Pensiero, vocal

This article has 12 comments

  1. Amanda Game responded on 25 September 2013 at 10:44am Reply

    I was lucky enough to be part of this wonderful day and Flashmob, great fun !

  2. Diane Pearmain responded on 25 September 2013 at 12:27pm Reply

    what an amazing day I had, and one I will always remember!

  3. Jill Brewer responded on 25 September 2013 at 2:09pm Reply

    I had a blast this Sunday - loved the whole day from the work shop with the wonderful Dominic to listening to all the choirs and then performing with the flash mob.My new claim to fame "I have sung at ROH Covent Garden!"

  4. Judith responded on 25 September 2013 at 8:48pm Reply

    Ged and I had the best fun. Thank you so much to all involved.

  5. What an excellent day - Dominic's workshop was fantastic, although the choreography (simple as it was) had me beat! Loved the choir performances - and the flash mob was the perfect ending to a top quality day - thanks to all involved, and a special shout out to the MSC UK choir, Lirica, a good number of whom shared in the festivities.

  6. phil webb responded on 26 September 2013 at 5:38pm Reply

    Great day. Glad I was part of the flashmob :-)

  7. John Anthony Richardson responded on 26 September 2013 at 10:30pm Reply

    Thurrock Community Chorus had a great day at the Deloitte Ignite festival, taking part in the flash mob was the icing on the cake.

  8. Jean Guevara responded on 2 October 2013 at 2:24pm Reply

    Great to see the whole thing at last ! Well done to all concerned. Had a great day !!!

  9. Faith Holland responded on 2 October 2013 at 5:26pm Reply

    Tremendous fun - what a lovely crowd of normal, fun people work at the Opera House - not snobby at all!

  10. claudia responded on 3 October 2013 at 7:58pm Reply

    It was an amazing experience and privilege not only to be part of the flashmob and sing in Italian! but also being part of Mind and Soul Choir and able to participate in the Deloitte festival and sing inside the ROH a memory I will always cherish.

  11. Diane Smith responded on 6 October 2013 at 9:49am Reply

    Very enjoyable concert, Va,pensiero in Covent Garden afterwards was a great end to the day. Brilliant.

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