Kathleen Kim as Olympia.
Last night I was watching a Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Offenbach's
Tales of Hoffman on television. I was actually waiting for Human Target
to come on at the top of the next hour, a show that I've come to like over
the past weeks. But I thought that I would watch a bit of the Offenbach
in the hope that I would hear the famous "Doll Song" performed before
The Doll Song is one of the most notoriously difficult in the opera rep-
ertoire, a "make it or break it" aria for many sopranos. So it's always
interesting to watch this or that singer do the number. Not to mention
the fact that the song, sung by the mechanical wind-up doll Olympia, is
a lot of fun.
Well a little bit into the Doll Song my dog Sasha's ears pricked up. She
listened for a while, looking over at the television. A minute later
she jumped onto the couch and sat up begging style, looking over at the
television. I think she thought that the sounds were coming from some
place and some thing on top of the television. "No, Sasha! There's
nothing there!" I told her. But of course she wouldn't give up. She kept
sitting up, wanting the get to the source of the sound. I imagine that
to Sasha the high coloratura notes of the Doll Song must have sounded a
lot like a bird.
So this morning I got on youTube and played it for her again. This time
she thought the "bird" (or whatever) was coming from somewhere behind
the laptop. I pointed to the laptop and the youTube video that was
playing, but she just didn't get it. Which is exactly why dogs don't
become IT people — they know nothing about computers. On the other
hand, I imagine dogs know a lot more about chasing squeaky toys than
your average IT person.
Anyway, I'm glad Sasha enjoys it. So, what's next for little Sasha? The
Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute?