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1982

Opera

Sam rushes into the children's department with exciting news. Riki Turofsky, a famous singer, is coming to the store the next day to sign autographs. He has just talked to her on the phone and she is coming to take a look at the store tonight. She is his favorite singer. He especially enjoys it when she sings opera.

Jeff wonders, "What's opera?" Sam demonstrates by singing about his job in the store to a melody from the opera "Carmen". Muffy suggests that Jeff give it a try, too. So, to a tune from Gilbert and Sullivan, Jeff sings about his life as a store mannequin.

Later, TXL is getting into the act, too, and practicing her scales in hopes of singing a song with Riki Turofsky. Sam wonders what a computer has to sing about, so, to another tune from "Carmen", TXL demonstrates by singing a song about her life at the store.

Meanwhile, Muffy is practicing how she will talk to Ms. Turofsky and ask for her autograph and dressing up so she'll look her best.
In the children's department, Sam is practicing his scales, too. Jodie explains that Sam can't sing as high as Muffy but he can sing a lot lower. He explains that he sang in the Navy for fun, and Jodie says that she learned to sing in the school choir.

Muffy shows up in her finery and carrying her opera glasses. She is disappointed not to find Riki Turofsky there, but she explains what the opera glasses are for. They help her see when she goes to the opera. The last opera she went to was "Hansel and Gretel".

Sam says "Hansel and Gretel" is a storybook, not an opera, but Jodie explains that the same story can be used for a book, a movie, a TV show or an opera.

That gives Sam an idea. Maybe they could take a story and make it into an opera. Jodie suggests "The Three Bears." Muffy will be Goldilocks, Jodie will play Mama Bear, Sam will sing the part of Papa Bear. Jeff excitedly offers to play a part, too, so Muffy says, "It's nice of you to volunteer. As Baby Bear you will appear."

So next we see "The Three Bears" in the style of a pop opera with the cast dressed up top look like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Afterwards, Sam is doing his rounds and thinking about the fun they had doing the opera. He's a bit tired, though, so he decides to sit down and take a rest. Before long, he's sound asleep.

Jeff and Jodie await Riki Turofsky's arrival in the children's department. Jeff has never met a famous person before, so he's quite nervous. Jodie says she'll explain about him when she goes to the door to meet their guest.

As she goes to meet her, Jeff practices what he'll say to her. "How do you do? I've never met a star before." But when Ms. Turofsky introduces herself, she says, "How do you do? I've never met a mannequin before," and Jeff is left nearly speechless. She is delighted to see a mouse in the store, too, and after Jodie introduces Muffy as one of their friends, Ms. Turofsky comments on how well dressed she is.

Sam hasn't arrived yet, so Ms. Turofsky talks with the rest. She asks Jeff is he likes to sing, and Jeff says he knows some songs, but sometimes he likes to just make them up.

"So do I!" says Ms. Turofsky. In fact, she explains that sometimes she takes a nursery rhyme and sings it like an opera. At Muffy's request she demonstrates with "Jack and Jill". They're all thrilled, and she says she'd like to sing more but that she has another engagement and must leave soon. So Jeff takes her to the music department to show her where she will be signing autographs the next day. Meanwhile, Muffy goes off to the computer room to find Sam.

Once there she finds that Sam isn't there. TXL thinks maybe he has fallen asleep somewhere. She tells Muffy to try and keep Riki Turofsky in the store until Sam can meet her by asking her to sing a song. Before she goes, Muffy tells us that if we see Sam we should shout and make noise until he awakens and tell him that he's very late.

Meanwhile, Ms. Turofsky is saying goodbye to Jeff and Jodie. Muffy dashes in and begs her to sing a song before she leaves.

"Well, I really should go, but as you seem so determined to get me to sing, there is one song I think you might enjoy," she says. She sings a song from a Gilbert and Sullivan opera called "Daughter of the Regiment," about an orphan girl named Marie who has been adopted by the 21st army regiment in France. She sings in glowing terms, "We're the fabulous Twenty-First!" As she sings she magically transforms and now she is wearing her costume from the opera and playing a little drum as she sings. She motions to Jeff, and he joins her in a little waltz. As she hits the final note, they end by saluting each other.

Elsewhere in the store, we find Sam, still sound asleep. Startled awake, he asks us what happened. "What's that? I'm late for what? She's here! Where! Oh, my goodness I hope she's still here, thank you for waking me up. I'll be so cross with myself if I miss her!" And he rushes off to the children's department.

Now Ms. Turofsky is saying goodbye again. Jeff gives her an enthusiastic handshake and since he cannot come to see her in concert, she promises to send him her next record.

Just then Sam bursts into the room. "Is she still here?" he asks. When he sees her he can do nothing but stammer, "Oh, my, my, my, my!" Jodie introduces Sam to Riki Turofsky as "one of your greatest fans," and she comes over to shake his hand but he keeps saying, "Oh my, my, my!" Upon learning from Jeff that Sam sings, she suggests he try singing something. "It'll make a change from 'oh, my, my, my!'" she says. So, shyly, Sam begins to sing.

"I would like to sing with you, but you sing so high, and I sing so low!"

"Sam, your lower voice will do, if you will just keep on singing."

Then together they sing, "Then we'll sing a song for two, we will sing it together . . ." Riki Turofsky kindly pats Sam's hand as they sing.

"Now I've had a dream come true, I've finally sang a song with you!" they sing, and the song is finished. Ms. Turofsky lifts Sam's hat and plants a kiss on his forehead. Once again, Sam can only say, "Oh, my my my!"


Quizzes:

  • Who is singing in this tree? (A nearby frog informs us that he can sing, too!)
  • Can you sing the same tone as this note?
    Can you sing a scale along with the note?

Nursery Rhyme:

  • Oranges and Lemons

Notes:

  • "Opera" is one of the few episodes in which Clive VanderBurgh is not the sole composer. The Three Bears opera was composed by Jim Betts and so was the music for the episode.
  • Sam's song was sung to the "Toreador Song" from Bizet's Carmen.
  • The lyrics for "The Three Bears" and the "Daughter of the Regiment" opera are found in the "Operas" section of this site.
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