Dogs - an Interlude

Backstage with an auditionee. I didn't catch his name.

"What kind of dog would you like for Act II?"

This was not a question I was expecting the director to ask one morning at Così fan tutte rehearsals. 

"Oh, ein Mops, bitte."

I said, nonchalantly. 'Mops' means pug and is the only German dog name I know.

Two weeks later and we are into stage rehearsals when some dogs appear to 'audition'. The soprano, Fiordiligi, gets a little black pug who is overexcited but behaves well. My enormous friend here pulls me sharply across the stage during a high note, and then insists that I sing the rest at the back of the stage behind some scenery, where he has found something interesting on the ground. Unsurprisingly, this unprofessional behaviour  of upstaging his colleague does not win him the role, and he is sent packing (I might say 'with his tail between his legs', but I think maybe he never really had the appetite for a career in show business). 

Before any more pugs can appear, there is a last-minute veto - someone in the pit has an allergy.


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