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"Living Opera Organ" Makes Opera Fun

You don't need to know much about opera to know that getting singers to belt out a note based on where you put your feet is a pretty good time.

Look, it's okay if you think opera is kind of boring. The artform, while elegant and beautiful, hasn't exactly made a lot of attempts to reach an audience who is not already enthusiastic about it. But this ad, created for TFO (the French-language cultural and educational public television network of Ontario) by Lowe Roche, does a fine job of highlighting the accessibility of a medium that actually has a lot of appeal to people who may not know much about it: the two-and-a-half-minute spot places "The Living Opera Organ" in a public park, allowing passers-by to get interactive with the singers.

The giant keyboard recalls the one that Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia play "Chopsticks" and "Heart and Soul" on in the middle of FAO Schwartz in the movie Big, which remains one of the most fun scenes in movie history. This spot, directed by Antony Ayotte, one-ups Hanks, though—with this piano, there are live opera singers behind the keys, and whenever the keyboard is stepped on, the performers sing the corresponding note. A conductor introduces the concept to the crowd, and then kids, adults, and at least one dog get into the act. It makes for a charming reminder that art—even an allegedly stuffy artform like opera—is meant to belong to everyone.