It's that time of year again -- the start of the arts season in Miami. As with any seasonal changes, there are visible signs; openings nights become a regular weekend activity and Random Acts of Culture* make a comeback.
On October 13, Florida Grand Opera partnered with Ikea Sunrise to celebrate the store's fifth anniversary in a most memorable way -- with an operatic Random Act of Culture. It was a typical Saturday afternoon at Ikea with shoppers galore and Swedish meatballs aplenty. Suddenly, 10 talented young opera singers, including members of FGO's Young Artist Studio, broke into song to the delight of onlookers. The stunt was repeated numerous times throughout the store's various departments, including bedding, dinning, the Marketplace and -- most popular of all -- the restaurant.
Think you could spot the opera singers before the Random Act starts? Think again! Doing their best to blend in and maximize the surprise, some singers dressed in casual wear to mix in with shoppers while others wore Ikea staff uniforms. Some audience members found such joy in being serenaded by what seemed to be Ikea staffers, that they followed the singers from department to department. One such fan can be seen at the beginning of the video, dancing along and cuing the singers as the music begins.
The singers performed "Libiamo" (the Drinking Song) from Verdi's La Traviata, one of the four popular operas featured in Florida Grand Opera's 2012-2013 season.
*Although the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the last Random Act of Culture performance in South Florida over the summer, many arts organizations in this community are making an effort to keep this wonderful tradition alive to continue engaging our audiences and increasing exposure to the arts.