Living Sculptures of Art: The Mile Long Opera

Living Sculptures of Art: The Mile Long Opera

Over the streets of the Meatpacking District NYC, standing motionless were living and breathing sculptures of art scattered along a one and three-quarter mile stretch of abandoned railroad track.

Their faces dotted the former elevated railway like glowing mannequins propped up on wooden boxes, leading an illuminated pathway from the trendy Gansevoort Street northbound to Hudson Yards.


Recently we attended an awesome impromptu event, called "The Mile Long Opera", a truly unique event presented on the famous High Line in NYC.

This was remarkable robotic opera above the streets of NYC!

The Mile Long Opera, sculptures of art

Here is an amazing event that is truly spellbinding; it is where more than 200 professional opera singers are stationed every 20 feet or so in singular and group formation, and will serenade you as you walk by them along the famous 1.75 mile stretch of the outdoor elevated park.

However, things were not looking hopeful.

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Waiting on Standby for sculptures of art

Waiting on Standby for Sculptures of Art

Since we were on standby for a 7:45PM showing and didn’t yet have tickets, I pulled off my “parrot” routine, and walked the full length of the long, long ticket line saying,


After walking for 3-4 minutes, and what seemed like an eternity to my surprise a very generous couple said, "We have an extra ticket, sir."

I replied, 'OMG, you wouldn't happen to have a 2nd extra one, would You? For me and my partner for 7:45pm? The man said, "Well, I actually do."

I was practically speechless, WOW so beautiful! I replied "God Bless you, Bless you sir".

Once again, amazing fortune strikes!

sculptures of art with illuminated faces

An Enchanted Evening

It was a truly wonderful and enchanted evening along the illuminated Highline!

This elevated park converted from an abandoned railway is 30 feet above street level traversing parallel to Washington St through 10th Avenue starting from Gansevoort Street in the south Meatpacking District and ending in its northern terminus in the new swanky neighborhood called Hudson Yards.

Here are what some the great members in my internet community commented about when seeing The Mile Long Opera:

I love hearing about the awesome events available to you in NYC!
What an amazing mix of the audio and the visual the Mile Long Opera presented.
Thanks for sharing this experience Kaju! – Anonymous

How absolutely surreal and amazing! You must have felt transported to another dimension.
What an incredible idea. We felt like we were there with you. Thank you so much for sharing this unique event. - Anonymous

The Mile Long Opera on the High Line

As we stood in line awaiting our turn along the western stretch of Gansevoort Street along the New Whitney Musesum soon ready to climb those famous steps to gain access to the southern entry of the famous 1.75 walk for this truly one-of-a-kind cultural event, our anticipation was quickly building.

sculptures of art

Reaching the top of the steps to the main deck of the High line, we were greeted by slow soothing opera voices softly singing in an angelic harmony.

There I knew this enchanted feeling would permeate all evening.

Soothing opera voices

The air was a comfortable 73 degrees and there was a balmy breeze. As we walked along the elevated converted abandoned railway park, there was a milieu of the divine church, art, and poetry.

We walked through a cantilevered blue tunnel where we were greeted by opera singers standing on boxes, with illuminated visors.

Soon we were greeted by a soft voices wafting through the air standing on a boxes from under illuminating visors singing to us in poetic voice:

Reciting poetry in the Mile Long Opera

"I must find my dining table from Ikea. The one in white melamine. And my chair I must find!"

Many different operatic voices soon separately began reciting poetry in the dark about their furniture!

sculptures of art in robotic formation

Sculptures of Art in Robotic Formation

The second group we encountered along our amble along the High Line were a colorful group of opera singers of all ages standing in robotic formation inside a wooden trough of descending steps overhanging a lookout view atop 10th Avenue.

All appeared like automotonic opera singers holding backpacks glowing, with the illuminated lights of Gotham as a backdrop.

View of Empire State Building

One such singer provided for a gorgeous photo op with the Empire State Building in the background to the right of her illuminated visor.

Then there were also opera singers standing along an inaccessible lower level, where we can view down at them.

Inaccessible lower level at the Mile Long Opera

Here they appear like mimes lined up on multi-leveled steps along the side of the Highline.

Mimes on Multi-steps

Then there were the poets who recited prose through the dark night, with planted window washers seen off the High Line in the background hand-wiping full height windows from inside a spacious yet empty 3rd floor condo of the recently occupied futuristic building by architect Zaha Hadid.

Opera mimicking surreal art

Such remarkable outdoor night opera now seen mimicking surreal art, morphing into an amazing audio-visual installation.

Living sculptures of art on the High Line

How I Love My Coffee Cup!

Shortly thereafter while slowing sauntering a few blocks north we reached a totally different zone, where were greeted by a new large group standing along the outer periphery holding glowing Styrofoam cups.

They all were softly singing independently in non-unison, "Oh how I love my coffee cup!"

I Love My Coffee Cup

We then reached an area further north near Hudson Yards, where illuminated voices standing on boxes were singing beautiful arias about urban life and the specter of "missing things".

"What if we had no L Train, what if we had no taxi cabs, what if there were no Chelsea Market, etc..."

In the Blue Tunnel at the Mile Long Opera

Along the way came a well-dressed retro bohemian poet contemplating the meaning of urban existence.

A Bohemian poet at the Mile Long Opera

As we reach our final zone in Hudson Yards, we are greeted by macabre creatures standing stoically in the night along the tracks glowing in the dark, singing mysterious operatic ghostly sounds.

One even appears to only have a partial body.

sculptures of art with a partial body

Finally, our enchanting walk has come to an end as we round the helix turn at the northern end of the Highline in Hudson Yards.

What an amazing cultural gift, a remarkable night of urban intrigue, curious wonder, visual surreality, and beautiful sound!

The Mile Long Opera

All manifest by living and breathing sculptures of art.

We would love to hear your comments, kindly leave any below.

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!