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Invisible Cities
Soprano Delaram Kamareh rehearses in Union Station

The hottest ticket this fall isn’t for the glittering Walt Disney Concert Hall. It’s for a downtown train depot where you’ll hear opera while thousands of travelers shuffle past. Really. 

Starting October 19, Union Station hosts Invisible Cities. It works like this: An 11-piece orchestra performs in a nearby building, and the music is simultaneously piped into high-tech Sennheiser headphones for 150 audience members‘ auditory pleasure. 

And it’s a moveable feast: You’re encouraged to wander under the train station’s noir-glam arches and through manicured grounds, where performers are waiting for you to discover them. You might happen upon pirouetting dancers from Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project. Or find a soprano warbling in a corner, her voice amplified by a hidden microphone into your headphones.

It’s the high-concept project of director Yuval Sharon, whose fledgling company The Industry is fresh from wowing audiences last spring with a different production. This time the work is even more ambitious, since it’s based on dreamy vistas from Italo Calvino’s book of the same name, which is a dialogue between explorer Marco Polo and aging emperor Kublai Khan.

Sharon says you can talk, sit, snack--whatever you like--during the performance. Finally, someone who’s made opera accessible and fun.

Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St.; 718-812-9159 or

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