July 15, 2012

Operas for Andy Murray's dog

If you follow tennis, you'll know that this past Sunday saw Reger Federer's star shining brightly as he won his seventh Wimbledon title and seventeenth major championship overall.  In the process, he broke the collective hearts of the U.K. in defeating Scotsman Andy Murray, who had a chance to become the first Brit to win the All England Club men's singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

This is not Andy Murray's dog. But it likes music.
I'm a lukewarm tennis fan myself.  I confess that my attention has waned a little since the days of Ilie "Nasty" Nastase, Boris "Boom Boom" Becker, John "Superbrat" McEnroe and other dudes with nicknames.  Modern-era tennis players don't seem to collect nicknames, really.  Somehow, Pete "The Bland" Sampras and Roger "Swiss Chard" Federer don't seem to cut it.

So Murray was a new name to me, but I'm quickly catching up.  It turns out he's a classical music fan.  How cool is that?!  Hey, how about Andy "Longhair" Murray? Does that work for you?

This factoid came to my attention via the British radio station Classical FM, which just published a short piece about Murray's taste for fine music you can read at this link.  In it, we learn that the athlete's girl friend is a regular listener to Classical FM and that his dog Maggie May actually has her own Twitter account (@maggiemay_hem) on which she has been known to woof a few tweets about cultural matters.

The Classical FM editors saw fit to recommend some musical selections Maggs might enjoy, including operas by Pooch-ini and Vaughan Williams' "The Bark Ascending".

What, did you just roll your eyes at those? Groan audibly? Make a catty remark (get it? "catty"?  heh heh heh) about "the lowest form of humor"?

Well that's a bit awkward, because the rest of this post will be devoted to as many bad puns of operas for dogs as I can manufacture, sitting here at my desk at the beautiful Harrison Opera House in downtown Norfolk, VA. 

You have been warned.


  1. Turandog (Puccini)
  2. Manon Leash-caut (Puccini)
  3. Lohengrowl (Wagner)
  4. Fido and Aeneas (Purcell)
  5. The Coronation of Puppy (Monteverdi)
  6. The Beggar's Opera (Gay)
  7. The Speaker's Opera (Straight)
  8. The Fetcher's Opera (Bi)
  9. Woof-igénie en Rawhide (Gluck)
  10. Der Frei Shih Tzu (Weber)
  11. Lucrezia Borzoi (Donizetti)
  12. The Tails of Hoffmann (Offenbach)
  13. Queen, Who Got Spayed (Tchaikovsky)
  14. Der Rosen-collie-vier (for dyslexic canines) (R. Strauss)
  15. Arf-eus and Euridice (Gluck)
  16. Sit-your-greyhound  (Philip Glass) (This is my favorite, and I don't care if you don't get it.  Google Glass's operas and then tip your cap to me in awe and respect.)
  17. Corgi and Bess (Gershwin)
  18. Bone Giovanni (Mozart)
  19. Trixie in China (Adams) (My father-in-law had a dog named Trixie...)
  20. Il Rover-tore (Verdi)
  21. La Jolie Flea de Perth (Bizet) Or, if you prefer,
  22. Die Flea-dermaus (J. Strauss Jr.) and finally,
  23. Bluebeard's Castle (Bela Bark-talk)

There. That oughta keep Maggie May busy for the rest of the summer.

My new book The Opera Zoo: Singers, Composers and Other Primates is now available from Kendall Hunt Publishing. Order online
at http://www.kendallhunt.com/operazoo or by phone from the Customer Service line at 1-800-344-9034 ext.3020.


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