• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A YouTube video of the Opera Company of Philadelphia performing a “random act of culture” at Macy’s department store in center city has become a “viral” Internet sensation — and that’s not the only way this organization is modernizing its presentations.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia is using modern technology to bring attention to its 300-year-old arias, according to executive director David Devan.

devan david academy Philly Opera Companys Online Video Goes Viral“An opera company needs to have a bigger footprint than what we have in the opera house,” Devan (right) said on Thursday at the Academy of Music, “so we started thinking about ways that we could infiltrate the city.”

Hear the full interview…

Devan says that with 5½ million views so far, their online “flash opera” video is one of YouTube’s biggest viral successes.

“We created a list of quintessential Philadelphia places that we would want to showcase, and the Wanamaker organ came up at Macy’s.  All of a sudden we had 650 singers,” he recalled about the production.

And if you think that’s bringing opera into the 21st century, wait until you see their February performance of Romeo and Juliet:

“We are setting it in contemporary times, and the two families are two warring fashion houses.”

Watch the video…

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060.

Watch & Listen LIVE