Oh, How I Love The Opera

by Prunehilda Matata Mozart

Ah, Mozart. Rossini. Verdi. Such wondrous and beautiful opera music you have given us, along with your most esteemed peers – Wagner, Puccini, Bizet, and the like. What passion is aroused by the sublime sopranos, the basso profundos, the grand orchestra, the magnificent sets... the dancing chickens?! Indeed, from the dubious mind of composer Prunehilda Matata Mozart comes this, um... questionable homage to the great classical operas.

There are actually two parts to this song, for which you may wish to use two differents groups: the "haughty" opera fans who begin singing at measure 5, and the chickens whose "singing" begins at bar 15. Try not to let singers project the joke before it gets to the chicken parts (so to speak), if possible. And don't reveal the actual chickens (costumed actors, toy chickens, rubber chickens, puppets, what-have-you) to the audience until their entrance at measure 13. Have performers keep straight faces as best they can. Even the chickens should take themselves seriously, possibly standing in an erudite pose, spines straight, feet out with heels together, hands (wings?) hooked by the fingers in front of stomachs.

When they sing, the chickens shouldn't be too precise or pretty. Think "chicken." No, really. Plus, a bit of extra raucousness on the accented and extended notes is expected. Relaxed, loose lips and cheeks will help achieve the desired result. A little ad libbing chicken sounds before singing to warm-up would be in order to help them get into character.

The song is blissfully brief, but on the repeat there is the addition of a second part for your chickens. This is optional, but adds a nice flavor (again... so to speak).

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.