London Underground vocabulary: Busker of the Opera

Try to work out the London Undergound vocabulary from the context of the sentence before you look at the glossary below the text to find out the definitions. I don’t normally take the tube to work but yesterday I was running late so I took it to Leicester Square. Most of the tube stations in central London have little sections in the passageways for buskers, and regardless of whether you give any spare change or not, it’s nice that these musicians are official. However, what you don’t expect – which I saw on Tuesday morning by chance – is an opera singer busking. Usually, I just get out of the carriage, walk as quickly as I can along the platform, and pay no attention to anything around me. As I was late, this was even more so…until I realised that the busking and singing was of a particularly high standard. To further engage my curiosity, quite a few people were actually watching this busker – even a few station assistants and a ticket inspector! Some were even coming back down the escalators to see her. So it was quite a nice surprise to discover that it was Katherine Jenkins, a very famous British opera singer/classical crossover artist. Maybe I didn’t notice who it was at first because she was wearing a brown wig to try and hide her identity. She wasn’t busking because she needs the money, but for an article for the Evening Standard magazine, which is free on Fridays. While she certainly wasn’t a usual busker, her 45mins of performing some of her greatest hits made a lot of commuters happy. Her concert tickets are usually around £100 so it was great to see her just for the price of a tube fare. People were still talking about it when going through the ticket barriers. I didn’t stay until the end of her session, but apparently she signed autographs and happily chatted to people. Her busking even made £16, which she plans to donate to a homeless charity. That’s what I love about this city – all these interesting things can happen, even on the tube on the way to work! BTW, sorry to write about the tube again, but when you live in London, it’s kind of a big part of your life! Here is Katherine Jenkins doing her classical crossover thing, i.e. taking a pop song and singing it in a classical style (Her singing starts at 0:43) …and here is how you do opera properly (says Bren) courtesy of the one, the only, Maria Callas.

London Underground Vocabulary

The tube
London underground
To run late
to be late for a scheduled time
a way, especially in or between buildings/a corridor
a person who sings or entertains on the street or public place
To busk
to sing in a public place in the hope of getting money from passers-by
individual train compartment
raised area at a tube/rail station from which people have access to trains
Station assistant
London Underground staff
Ticket inspector
Person employed by London Underground to check tickets
moving stairs, up and down
a person who travels to work
price you pay for using public transport
Ticket Barrier
the gates to enter/exit the London Underground

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