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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Shoppers hit with flashmob opera
Soprano Rebecca von Lipinski and baritone Mark Stone
The Meadowhall performance is a modern take on Faust
Shoppers in Sheffield were given a musical feast as the BBC's second Flashmob Opera was held in Meadowhall.

The opera - a contemporary take on the legend of Faust - was performed live from the shopping centre in front of unsuspecting crowds on Thursday night.

Last year's event was held in front of commuters at London Paddington Station and broadcast live on BBC Three.

Controller Stuart Murphy promised even more audience participation from the Meadowhall performance.

Local choir

"I feel that we have come up with a great recipe for creating opera for the BBC Three audience and I am very excited about taking the concept further," he said before the event.

Text messages were sent to people who signed up for information asking them to form a flashmob at the shopping centre.

Fans and enthusiasts could download lyrics from the website to join in.

The performance included award-winning choir Cantamus, based in Mansfield, and members of the Sheffield Teachers' Operatic Society.

Soprano Rebecca Von Lipinski, from Nottinghamshire, played Sophie Faust - a high flier who sold her soul for years of fame and fortune.

Audience hit

Speaking before the performance, she said: "Women are supposed to be, more or less, super women - raising families, having careers and fabulous relationships - and all at the same time.

"They are forever juggling their lives to have it all, but sometimes what they have to do is sell their soul to achieve it when actually the only thing that they really want is to be loved."

Last year's Flashmob - The Opera accumulated 2.2 million viewers across its broadcasts on BBC Three and BBC Two.

Brand New Flashmob Opera was being screened live on BBC Three at 2000 BST on Thursday.

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