In the deserted park, an enigmatic piano sat waiting. She approached, casting an intrigued glance, then seated herself to conjure the haunting “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

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Leaving pianos on city streets may sound crazy, but there’s a method to the madness. Montreal experimented with this idea through the “Piano des Villes, piano des champs” project, a collaboration among cultural organizations, local businesses, and the city government. Artfully adorned pianos graced various streets for a few summer weeks, each linked to a pianist who’d occasionally perform.

One memorable moment occurred high on Mont-Royal, a hill offering cityscape views. There, college student Ariane Racicot enthralled lucky onlookers with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This iconic rock song, with its unique blend of ballad, opera, and hard rock, was penned by Freddie Mercury for Queen’s 1975 album “A Night at the Opera.” It’s a song that defined the band and revolutionized music videos.

Ariane’s performance, entirely from memory, left her outdoor audience astounded. Her dedication to this complex piece, set in a surreal location, was a sight to behold.

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