Saturday 27 March 2010

Singing the praises of Guerrilla Market(ing)

Opera Singers Meat the Saturday morning St Lawrence market crowd

Cell phone photograph captures fleeting duet
While enjoying a cup of tea at the St Lawrence Market this morning, my people watching and the observance of the hustle and bustle of the building on a Saturday came to a stop when a butcher began singing -- opera style -- to a young woman laden down with her purchases. She too broke out in song. They were good singers -- too good to be butcher and a shopper -- and besides, the headset microphones gave it all away. I was accidental witness to 10 minutes of Guerrilla Market(ing).
Were they there to promote Toronto's Opera? Were they simply making an artistic statement that had some funding from the city owned building or from the cash rich Luminato Festival? Don't know. Haven't been able to find anything on line about the performance. I will have to wait until next Saturday and quiz Brown's Butchers (who lent a clean uniform to the male singer).
She sang a solo. He sang a solo.They sang a duet. It all ended when he presented her with a pea meal bacon on a bun. They melted into the wildly applauding crowd. No flyers. No explanation. But a lot of applause. Guerrilla Market(ing) without a cause.
UPDATE APRIL 17 - Three weeks after the above picture was taken, I returned once again to the Market on a Saturday morning. After buying a newspaper and a coffee in the basement of the south market, I came upstairs to the main floor and once again heard the sounds of the Opera. Singers and a keyboardist were hard at work entertaining the morning shoppers. This time the performers were more open about who they were - the auidence were given flyers to the Secret World of Og, an upcoming world premiere production of an opera based on a children's novel written by Pierre Berton. The performers? The Canadian Children's Opera Company. Not sure if the were the same group who staged the market(ing) stunt describe in this story.
CUT LINE: I used my cell phone to take a single picture of the singers in the market. What did they sing? Don't know. It was in Italian. Given the surroundings maybe it was an operatic version of an old Dominion store jingle: pricipalmente a causa della carne