Now Casting The Man on the Bearskin Rug
by Christie Connolley
Ever since I came across this little known one-act opera by Paul Ramsier, I knew that I was destined to be in it. Maybe it’s just the title that made it so irresistible, The Man on the Bearskin Rug…. Yup, it’s the title.
There are three characters:
Doris, Henry’s fiancée, soprano
Mrs. Le Moine, Henry’s landlady, contralto
The synopsis in short:
Henry and Doris are arguing when the landlady, Mrs. LeMoine arrives with a package. The package contains an enormous white bearskin rug, which they unfurl onto the floor. Doris leaves; Mrs. LeMoine throws herself at Henry. Doris comes back, she throws herself at Henry. It is good to be Henry, until they discover the rug was delivered to the wrong apartment.
Now, I won’t allow the fact that I am neither a soprano or a contralto deter me from singing out on a barihunk-laden bearskin rug. As a mezzo-soprano I will find a way to negotiate the highs and lows (vocally and otherwise…) required of either role.
Now that I have demonstrated both my dedication to the project and the vocal ambiguity needed to get this production on its feet, the search is on for the right male counterpart for this project. It goes without saying the ideal candidate must not only have the vocal goods, but must also have the stage presence, the acting skills, and well, he must look delicious while splayed out on said bearskin rug. You dear reader, must help me select just one! The candidates are:
- Silver fox action
- Russian hottie, he was born in Siberia and I own a Siberian husky – maybe it’s a sign?
- That unbelievable head of hair, seriously, it may be prettier than mine.
- He is Italian, so I could practice my intermediate level conversational Italian.
- I am concerned that I may not be able to breathe in his presence, cannot breathe, which could make singing a problem, but did I mention the hair?
- Polish baritone, ‘nuff said.
- I suspect he has had some botox injections on his forehead and I would like to get some botox there too! Maybe we could qualify for a two for one special!
- The all-American option.
- He has appeared bare-chested on stages all over the world; maybe he would run rehearsals sans chemise. I bet he is mowing his lawn right now without a shirt on.
- I realize of course, that Jonas Kaufmann is a tenor, but if I am stretching myself vocally to make this happen, why not extend the same opportunity to my darling Jonas?
- He can represent Germany in my United Nations of Love (yes, that is really a thing).
Help me choose!