Opera-singing security guard joins organist in moving Queen Elizabeth II tribute at London station

12 September 2022, 16:39 | Updated: 13 September 2022, 12:34

Organist, Anna Lapwood, performs the Handel aria with soprano, and security guard, Marcella
Organist, Anna Lapwood, performs the Handel aria with soprano, and security guard, Marcella. Picture: Anna Lapwood

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

A spontaneous performance from an unassuming train station employee caught in a touching viral moment...

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Concert blacks, colourful gowns, and statement suits are often the dress code of choice for soprano soloists performing classical music.

However, yesterday a soprano donning a high-vis jacket became a viral sensation with a impromptu performance of George Frideric Handel’s 1711 aria, ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ at London Bridge train station.

The national train station has recently welcomed an organ onto its premises, which passersby can try out when travelling through. One of the first organists on the scene to try out the instrument earlier this summer was Cambridge University’s Director of Music for Pembroke College, Anna Lapwood.

Lapwood often records herself – in selfie mode – performing music on organs across the country, and yesterday she decided to visit the station-bound instrument to play through some songs in tribute to the late Queen.

As she began playing, a security guard approached and asked if Lapwood could play ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ from Handel’s opera, Rinaldo. What followed was a heart-warming, unexpected duet.

Read more: How does the organ work, and what are the different parts? Anna Lapwood explains

Marcella, the security guard in question, has received a flurry of appreciative comments from viewers all around the world who have watched Lapwood’s video of the wholesome duet.

Amidst the sea of famous faces in the comments, including LBC’s Andrew Marr, Marcella received praise from the classical music world with the City of London Chamber Choir replying: “Love this! We rehearse at 7pm on alternate Wednesdays at Guy’s Hospital, Marcella would be more than welcome”.

The train station organ was brought in earlier this summer by the charity Pipe Up!, which rescues pipe organs by restoring or rehoming them.

We went down to London Bridge last month to check out the train station’s newest musical addition...