AN opera singer was moo-sic to the ears of a herd of cows in the Ribble Valley.

Italian tenor Marcello Bedoni proved he was cream of the pop as he belted out hits on a farm in Sabden surrounded by 50 milking cows yesterday.

Marcello, who lives in Germany and was specially flown in from Frankfurt, was there to promote Antonio Federici ice cream which sources milk from the farm.

By singing to the cows the idea was to up their happiness and endorphin levels, therefore helping them produce even creamier milk – which is ideal for ice cream.

The idea for opera, as opposed to rock music, was so that it closely resembled the songs of Italy where the ice cream recipe originated.

Farmer Bobby Gill, who runs Cockshotts Farm alongside wife Gillian and son Edward, said: It’s the strangest thing we’ve ever had on the farm, but I’m willing to try anything that makes my 50 cows produce more milk.”

Classical singer Marcello took to the field in his dinner jacket and bow tie and serenaded the inquisitive animals.He said: “I sing with love. Everything must be with love.

“We have to give love to the cows because they are like our mums. They give us milk.

“I am here to give satisfaction to them, and the tradition of singing to animals goes back a long way in other parts of the world.”

Marcello sang a range of songs such as Tu Ca Nun Chiange (Do Not Cry), the Opera Fedora and the classic standard O Sole Mio – famous as the backing track to Cornetto ice cream adverts.

The ice cream is made by Fredericks Dairies in Skelmersdale and sources a lot of cream for the product from Bowland Fresh, the East Lancashire farmers co-operative that the Gills are a member of.

Bowland Fresh supplies cream for the ice cream and William Slinger, founder of the co-operative, said the contract was great news for local farmers. He added: “The cows seemed to be really enjoying it, he was singing for a long time and they didn’t move. It’s great for our members that we can tap into new markets like this and having Marcello here is something different for us all.”

Jacqueline Walters, of Frankland Dairies, added: “Marcello has come and gave his best to the cows and I think they really appreciated it.”