Midweek Music Moment: The Doll Song

One of the pleasures (and tortures) of having worked in opera and musical theatre for so many years, is that every now and again a snippet of an aria will get stuck in my head.

This week’s recurring snippet is the ‘Doll Song’ from the wonderful opera, ‘The Tales of Hoffman’ (‘Les Contes d’Hoffman’).

Written in 1881 by Offenbach, the opera is a story of unrequited love for the foolish poet, Hoffman. In each of the opera’s 3 self-contained acts, Hoffman falls for a ‘woman’ who is not all that she appears to be.

In the case of this particular piece of music from Act I, Hoffman falls in love with a mechanical doll, much to his public embarrassment when he realises.



Erin Morley sings Olympia’s Doll Song in this Metropolitan Opera performance. Of interesting note is that the last note she sings is an Ab, which is the highest note ever known to be sung on the Met stage.

And for something a little different, here is the dazzling trailer of the 1951 film of the opera.


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