The BBC Get Playing music campaign is encouraging music lovers to get involved in a project to form a nationwide digital orchestra.
Aimed at anyone aged 16 and over, the project encourages amateur musicians to upload a video clip of themselves playing Georges Bizet’s famous Toreador Song from the opera Carmen to the Get Playing website www.bbc.co.uk/getplaying.
Sung by the bullfighter Escamillo, who later becomes Carmen’s lover, the Toreador Song is an espousal of the noble art of bullfighting and the fame that comes with a victory.
Clips of all the performances will be edited into a film combining all of the entries in order to create a virtual orchestra (a bit like this) featuring an array of orchestral instruments as well as the likes of the guitar, piano and drums.
The BBC has produced a mini version of the opera narrated by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Breakfast Show presenter Shaun Keaveny in an attempt to drum up support for the campaign, and Keaveny himself is playing the drums as part of the orchestra.
David Baddiel is also backing the scheme and Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, is acting as conductor in order to keep all the players in time.
The Virtual Orchestra will be shown at Proms in the Park events as part of the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 10 September, and will also be available on BBC iPlayer.