The Furkids team were very excited by the wonderful response to their first opera-themed episode last week, so much so, they decided to follow up with an operatic duet.

The aria chosen by the furkids is “Barcarolle” from The Tales of Hoffmann, the last and greatest opera by Jacques Offenbach. The origin of the barcarolle is the Italian barcarola (from barca meaning ‘boat’), a traditional folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers. The popularity of the ballads influenced composers to write their own barcarolles.

In this recording, the duet is sung in French by Russian operatic soprano Anna Netrebko and Latvian operatic lyric mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča.

The orchestral introduction is almost a minute long so I recommend watching the video while they play. When Elīna begins to sing, that will be your queue to begin scrolling through the illustrated lyrics as you sing along to the furkids’ best English translation. Enjoy!

You can follow the Furkids at (and buy them a frothy milk if you feel so inclined). Michelle is on Twitter as @Mopshell.

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  1. I need to make a point of coming over to P.Z. first thing on Sunday A.M.’s to see the furkids. Beats grinding my teeth to nubs by going to D.K. first.

    Thanks Michelle, what a great way to start the week!

  2. You can not tell me, that animals don’t feel connections & LOVE! All life is precious, IMO! People that exploit animals or kill for”sport” are inhumane/Heathens….that’s how I roll!

    • Though accountability is looming large finally for the monsters in our midst, it’s still crazy! We need a strong distraction to counteract it so opera it had to be!

      hugs with love (and sailboats) 🤗⛵️💙💦🤗Lisbeth🤗💦💙⛵️🤗

  3. {{{Michelle}}} You and the Furkids did a wonderful job here. The music is lovely, of course, and the translations are as well. Thank you, {{{HUGS}}} & Healing Energy to you, skitches to the Furkids.

    • I listened to the music several times while putting this together – it’s one of my favourite earworms!

      With loving hugs 🤗⛵️💙💦🤗Barbara🤗💦💙⛵️🤗

      and scritches for 💙Charlie💧Cloud💧Freddie💧Bobbie💧Rennie💙

  4. Delightful as always. You may or may not recall that in addition to being a “jock” in high school and college I was also a musician. I gave up band stuff after 8th grade and concentrated on vocal performance and made all-state chorus my senior year. Alas, it met up in Chicago during basketball season and let’s just say coach wasn’t receptive to the thought of me missing two games that weekend, especially since after a rough start to our season we were showing signs of turning into a good team which we did. A really good one. Not as great as the two years before, and there would be others better but we gained respect for the way we competed and finished.

    In college I’d wind up minoring in music and was a member of the Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theater at SIU-Carbondale. She’d retired of course but it was headed by her trusted aid Mary Elaine Wallace. In other words, I had become (and remain an opera lover) so I know who Offenbach was. Here’s the funny part. When I was 26 I wound up making a life decision that among other things included a lot of “instruction” on certain history. During which I was told the melody/music of a certain song was taken from an Offenbach Opera titled… You guessed it! Tales of Hoffman. Except I knew that wasn’t the case.

    However, well before that I knew it would be a REALLY bad idea to speak up and “correct” things. See if the tune, the Gendarmes Duet from Geneviève de Brabant makes you think of another tune most folks are familiar with:

    I’ve never seen this particular work performed. Probably never will but I’ll get weird looks if I do. Or attend some concert over in the Town Square of Cary where the music is classical tunes and this gets performed. For those that don’t know, it’s ingrained in every jarhead to stand at attention whenever you hear this music. Despite the very, very different lyrics and themes instinct would cause me to haul my broken down butt to my feet and stand at the best version of attention I can muster given my physical disability. (without a cane or walker I’d fall right over with my feet together!)

    Anyway I can only imagine the thrashing not only I but my whole platoon would have gotten for pointing out the error in attribution! At least in third grade when I corrected my teacher by pointing out Alan Shepard was the first American to travel to space and not John Glenn (since I sat in the back and right in front of the shelves with our Encyclopedia Sets when she told me I was wrong I pulled out the correct volume and took it up to her) she only took out punishment for her embarssment on me!

    • I know this song really well! I learnt it in choir at primary school (the Tasmanian version of grade school). I even remember some of the words! So it only reminds me of itself. I couldn’t have told you it was from “Geneviève de Brabant” but I do know it isn’t from “Tales of Hoffman”.

      My love of classical music came from listening to my Grandparents’ records. My Granddad loved classical, opera, music hall (he was born in 1892) and musicals of the ’50s and ’60s. Many of the Furkids’ songs are sourced from very fond childhood memories.

      Your Grade 3 teacher was a narcissistic bully. So many were in the bad old days. They became teachers for the power they could wield and the pain they could mete out in fits of spiteful sadism. My Grade 6 teacher was like this and it didn’t help that she was married to the headmaster.

      I’m glad you had the love of music and history to counteract the ugly stuff. I didn’t know you were a jock as well! What a damn shame you missed the all-state chorus in your senior year. I hope you won both games those two weekends!

      • Other than her grading my work too harshly for a while (too long) overall she was a great teacher. And despite that payback from her it was my first grade teacher that has stood out. I endured an entire school year’s worth of crap (getting hit on my left hand with a ruler – sometimes with the edge, face slammed into the blackboard) for being left-handed. It’s why I initially learned to write right-handed though never all that well. And by the time I started using my left-hand to write there was no grading down if it wasn’t great – legible was good enough so I don’t write or print worth a crap with either hand unless I go slow and really concentrate.

        As for music and performance in plays, musicals and MLOT I was lucky to have been like my dad instead of my mom who couldn’t carry a tune. Being next to her in church during hymns was embarrasing sometimes! Dad however was a “crooner” who seemed to know every song written during the Big Band era and he had a very nice singing voice. At one of the local watering holes they had a stage where sometimes a few locals would perform live. Starting in college when I’d be there at the same time he was he’d get called up to sing by folks from his generation and he always had a set of beers waiting when he was done!

        Dad would hear me practicing, from scales to arias I had to learn and kept asking why I bothered with that stuff, reminding me of how he got treated (and by the ladies – it took a good couple of years after mom died but by 1977 he started enjoying himself again) and said I should learn HIS music and sing with him when we were at “the Bench” together. Still, one day he came home while I was playing an album I’d bought – it was the awesome Leonard Warren performing various arias and he just sat down for a while and listened. When that side of the album was done I told him if I could sing like that, I’d be able to pay for him to retire in luxury. And he was so moved by what he’d heard Warren do he just nodded in agreement, and left the room to take a nap. Never bugged me about learning to sing opera again.

        I’ve said before I never understood why people thought someone should have to choose, to limit themselves to being either in sports or the arts. If a person likes both, and especially if they have some talent in both then what the hell’s wrong with being involved in both? I took crap from some of my fellow jocks but it was more teasing than mean or cold-shoulder treatment. I honestly got harsher treatment from fellow musicians for being a jock! Fortunately there were people in both camps who thought it was great I was a “crossover.” It allowed them room to admit to sometimes liking some of the “other side.”

        I’d encounter people later in life who’d be startled to learn some aspect about me. Sometimes they were cool with it, and sometimes not. So goes life but while I’ve “conformed” sometimes when I had to (as in making a living and so avoiding making waves with co-workers) I’ve had a fuller life than many because I marched to my own drummer. I spent my adult life willing to strike out for some new thing and/or trying something different and if the effect career wise has left me struggling in my forced early retirement I still mostly think that if I got run over by a truck tomorrow my epitaph I’d want would still be the old man who inspired Jimmy Buffet to write He Went To Paris: “Some of it’s magic, and some of it’s tragic but I had a good life all the way.” Sometimes though I’m tempted by another of his lyrics, one from Changes In Latitudes Changes In Attitudes in the verse where he talks about departure signs in airports reminding him of the places he’d been and seen and his experiences and if it suddenly ended he’d somehow adjust to the fall/change in his life – “Good times and riches, and son of a bitches, I’ve seen more than I can recall!”


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