VIDEO: Supporting the arts with a sidewalk surprise

That’s soprano Ellaina Lewis, performing a surprise show in a West Seattle neighborhood this past weekend. L’Nayim Austin explains:

My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this weekend. Since we are social distancing, we couldn’t celebrate in the usual way (dinner and show). So, as a surprise for my husband, I commissioned a West Seattle friend and opera singer, Ellaina Lewis, to perform a short opera outside our home (following social distancing recommendations).

It was a lovely performance enjoyed by my husband, and everyone else in the neighborhood. The weather cooperated, and Ellaina’s beautiful soprano voice was magical. Two neighbors took videos.

Perhaps next time one of your readers needs a bit of celebration, they might consider hiring a local artist for an outdoor serenade. A little art during these times goes a long way to raise the soul.

(In the other clip, she sings an Elvis Presley classic.) P.S. Happy anniversary to L’Nayim and husband!

25 Replies to "VIDEO: Supporting the arts with a sidewalk surprise"

  • Chad Caron May 27, 2020 (11:46 am)

    What a great idea! Congrats Austins!

  • Higginshere May 27, 2020 (12:07 pm)

    Such a thoughtful, moving, creative, loving, beautiful  anniversary gift, which is likely the reason why you guys are together for 21 years. I’m glad we all get to share in this event.    

  • ArtsLover May 27, 2020 (12:35 pm)

    What a wonderful idea to celebrate this way. Congratulations to the anniversary couple and thank you for sharing. To Ellaina Lewis – I loved listening and watching you bring joy through music. You are awesome!!! If you aren’t lucky enough to have a friend sing like this, how would one find such a person for a future celebration?

  • carolei May 27, 2020 (12:46 pm)

    Brava!Beautifully sung!  Thank you for sharing! In case anyone was wondering, I believe that was O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini.

    • Mike May 27, 2020 (3:51 pm)

      Marvelous voice.  What a treat for the neighborhood!

  • ACG May 27, 2020 (12:49 pm)

    Wow!  What a thoughtful gift and Ellaina- what an AMAZING voice. Thank you for sharing. 

  • Jennie May 27, 2020 (12:53 pm)

    Beautiful – thanks for sharing!

  • YES2WS May 27, 2020 (1:00 pm)

    How absolutely beautiful!

  • Trl May 27, 2020 (1:24 pm)

    Wow, this really moved me and brought me to tears.. thanks for sharing!!

    • LK May 27, 2020 (6:23 pm)

      That’s how we felt watching in person!! Just beautiful….

    • lowmanbeachdrive May 27, 2020 (11:44 pm)

      Same here! Very moving.

  • Leisa May 27, 2020 (1:40 pm)

    Aw, I LOVE Ellaina! She’s such a sweet, special, caring and talented person. Lovely! 

    • LainaLou May 28, 2020 (2:55 pm)

      HI LEISA!!! :)

  • Alki May 27, 2020 (1:44 pm)

    Omg her voice is unreal!  Is this real?  She is amazing!!!!  And what a romantic gift.  :)

  • beanie May 27, 2020 (2:40 pm)

    This is such a great idea! Also, Ellaina, what an incredible voice!

  • WS Mom May 27, 2020 (2:56 pm)

    Goosebumps!  Thank you so much for sharing!  

  • Mrs. A May 27, 2020 (3:24 pm)

    Hello all – the Austins here.  Ellaina is a lovely, lovely person!!  We are so grateful that she came to perform for our anniversary.  I believe that she plans to do this in the future for others who are celebrating, but social distancing.  And, yes, this was O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini.  :)

  • Gill May 27, 2020 (6:22 pm)

    Cogratulations on your 21 years!  And thank you Ellania Lewis for your beautiful singing. You had me in tears. What a great start to our day.

  • Brenda May 27, 2020 (8:20 pm)

    So very beautiful and refreshing.  One of my favorite opera pieces.

  • Lainalou May 27, 2020 (8:29 pm)

    Hi WS Neighbors!
    Thank you everyone for your sweet comments here. Let me know if you would like to have me come by with some music for a special occasion or just to enjoy with your neighbors and family.

    Email is

    Thank you for sharing this L’Nayim! It was an honor being a part of your celebration :)lovE

  • Keri May 27, 2020 (9:44 pm)

    This is beautiful.  Have to admit that I know nothing about opera, but it has touched me.  We lived (temporarily) in Paris many years ago and there are so many talented buskers everywhere, but one day we were coming around a corner, and there in the square, perfectly positioned to benefit from the acoustics bouncing off the architecture, was an opera singer.  Stopped me dead in my tracks, along with so many other people.  It’s a talent that you don’t hear every day and should be shared on the street as much as possible.  So happy you hired Elliana and exposed her beauty and talent to everyone in your neighborhood.  Gorgeous. 

    • LainaLou May 28, 2020 (2:53 pm)

      I love that story, Keri!! One of my favorite aspects of singing is that connection that comes from those who listen. If I can at least for a short while transport us all from our regular cares, I’ve done my work :) Whether it’s with opera or other art forms I hope you will enjoy many more such experiences. E’ 

  • LKT May 28, 2020 (8:21 am)

    This was a sweet moment in our neighborhood. Thank you, Elliana, for your beautiful singing, and for reminding us how much live music brings to our lives. And thank you, Austins, for sharing your celebration with us!

  • emcat8 May 28, 2020 (1:40 pm)

    This was honestly so lovely. What a beautiful singer you are!

  • Jeff June 2, 2020 (5:25 pm)

    Brava, Ellaina! This is what singing is all about–for real. It’s the joyful sharing of your self and your art with others. You do it soooo beautifully! 

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