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You're Invited: Verdi's 200th Birthday Celebration

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now, you've been listening to what's playing in R&B singer Miguel's ear. But we have a different kind of music in our ear, at the moment. We're humming opera tunes from the composer Verdi. It's the 200th anniversary of his birth, and London's Royal Opera House is celebrating with an online extravaganza that you can stream for free.

They're also asking people across the globe to record their own version of Verdi's well-known chorus "Va Pensiero." It's also known as "The Slave Chorus," from Nabucco. Here's a sample of what it all sounds like.

(SOUNDBITE MONTAGE OF VARIOUS PEOPLE SINGING "VA PENSIERO")

HEADLEE: Those are opera fans participating everywhere - from Madrid to Japan - and we wanted to bring our own, TELL ME MORE style.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHORUS, "VA PENSIERO")

TELL ME MORE STAFF MEMBERS: (Singing in foreign language)

HEADLEE: Want to try it yourself? Go to the Royal Opera House website, and record your own version. That's our program for today. You've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, in for Michel Martin. We'll talk more tomorrow.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHORUS, "VA PENSIERO") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.