Well, it’s all happening! Our air conditioning wasn’t working so we got a swanky room instead for the same price. The reason I don’t like the classy ones is that it’s hard to leave and explore. But we did leave and ‘ramballed’ (name of the main street) down the crowded boulevarde in the middle of the street. Corrie doesn’t like crowds, and anyway the food was tourist expensive, so we wandered in and out of squares joining the quiet back streets.

We found a spaghetti bar (as good as in Italy), then continued on our walk. As we turned into a narrow street we could here a bit of baritone. Just to our right was a small man in his 50s singing Italian classics eg ‘sol o mio’. We sat on the street, on flower pots, on stairs or just stood with a few young and old from various countries listening to this excellent entertainer. It was 7.00 pm. At around 7.30 our maestro put his arms out to welcome an ‘old’ (looked to be in his 70s) man. They hugged, the old guy sat down with his wife on a flower pot, and the performance continued.

Part of the way through an opera, he pointed to this man, who threw his arms out in front of him and burst into one of the character. During this time, another older chap stumbled along, hugs were had, and he limped awkwardly to the road stage. He soon got the ‘pointed finger’ and out broke more tenor beauty.

They sang, they teased, they performed, one forgot lines but whispered words came from the maestro as he massaged and manicured this incredible ‘street opera’. He beckoned people forward to let a police car through – parted the crowd to let a car of nuns through all in full song. One of the men could hardly walk so he got up well before the finger, the other couldn’t remember much so maestro would fill in the blanks. At one stage as maestro was dying an operatic death, a young woman beggar walked through singing the most beautiful insults I have heard waving a banner above her head. He simply continued to noisily die.

Soon more action as tenor bliss began to dance as well. A girl in the audience could not help herself and jumped up to dance. At around 10.00 he had us singing the Granada chorus and later beckoned a Soprano from the audience to continue as the tearful Violetta in La Traviata. The first tenor limped away – easy for me to catch and thank, as the second wondered why I was congratulating him, as his wife reminded him.

Back to the drama theatre where another old man suggested it was now his turn but had to retire with his hand in a Macbeth type hold around his throat. As he later returned to the bitumen stage, he had to quickly spit throat losanges out as the maestro cued him. As the maestro continued, he would quickly suck another, getting quite expert at spitting it out in time.
At around 11.00 it was just the little man in his fifties, his voice as strong as ever, playing all parts and about 10 of us left from this ever changing audience under street lamps in a quiet back street in Barcelona. We were so glad we left our plush room.