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From Mundane to Sublime: A Beautiful Example of How Opera Can Lift Spirits of All, Including Toddlers

Not a fan of opera? You will be after you see this. Guaranteed!

A friend from Canada, yes – the very same Woots, the Mud Hero – sent me a link to a wonderful video of a live event that took place at a London supermarket in April of 2013.

Take a look.  I GUARANTEE that it will make you smile, and maybe even want to join in.  This toddler and his Mom did.

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And now, here’s the video…

* * *

And what is the song that lifted the spirits of so many Londoners? It is “Funiculì, Funiculà” – a famous Neapolitan song written in 1880, with lyrics by journalist Peppino Turco set to music by composer Luigi Denza.  1funicular_0788

It was composed to commemorate the opening of the first funicular cable car on Mount Vesuvius. The 1880 cable car was later destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944; some remains of the top station were still visible in September 2012. The song was sung for the first time in the Quisisana Hotel in Castellammare di Stabia and met with huge success. It was presented by Turco and Denza at the Piedigrotta festival during the same year.


Want to hear something interesting?  Right after I finished this story, I sat down to try to play it on my Clavinova. And even though I have never played this music before, it practically played itself.

I did use the original score sheet, though, because I wanted to play it in the same key.  But I did my own chords and orchestration.

I wanted to start practicing it on a piano, but I hit the “wrong” key, and instead chose a woodwind ensemble.  I realized immediately that it was the Spirit correcting my initial choice.  Because this “sh’opera” music sounds much better on flutes, clarinets and horns than on a piano.

Stand by…

Funiculi, Funicula – by ALTZAR

Sept 16, 2014: And here it is now… recorded in its entirety on my Clavinova over the video of the London supermarket scenes.



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