I’m reminded of an old Victor Borge joke: “…and now a piece by Giuseppe Verdi. Joe Green to you.”

And it was Joe Green, or at least his music, that invaded a market in Valencia, Spain on an apparently ordinary day. Piano music comes over the loudspeakers: somebody’s playing Joe’s tunes. Then a fruit merchant suddenly breaks into song. Heads turn, a crowd gathers – but see for yourself:

The event appears to have been a promo for a local opera company. Someone holds up a sign at the end that says “¿Ves como te gusta la Ópera?”, which, as near as I can tell, translates, “See how much you like opera?” There’s also a long web address at the bottom that I can’t seem to make out, which I’m guessing leads to the site of the company that put on this event. I say “event” because it’s too sublime to be called a “publicity stunt”.

Stephen Fry shared this link on Twitter today, with this comment: “Art truly proves its power when it’s taken out of its usual sphere and seen somewhere ordinary.” Joe Green would have been pleased and proud.

It had me grinning and a little weepy at the spontaneous beauty of it all. Thanks, Stephen! (Or should I say Steve?)

YouTube – Opera en el Mercado