Bird opera

Reader Merilee sent some of us the link to this “bird opera”, which is really lovely, using birdsongs as the voices in the Mozart opera “The Magic Flute”.

Here are the notes from ShakeUp music. You’ll have to click below to get to the Vimeo site.

ShakeUp Music recomposed The Magic Flute Papageno/Papagena Duet into a colorful Mozart bird aria. Listen to an audiovisual Twitterstorm performed by our feathered fellows.

Follow us on Vimeo
or YouTube:

To see an original Mozart performance with Homo sapiens, go here.

My only issue is that there are no ducks. They could have ended the piece with one loud and rousing “QUACK”!



  1. merilee
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always loved this aria, human or boid. I sat next to a woman at the Canadian Opera Co. in Toronto a few years ago who had recently seen a Magic Flute in Ottawa. Apparently when Pappageno started in with his pa-pa-pa-pa some slightly crazy young woman up in the top balcony over the stage started pa-pa-pa-paing back and hanging over the balcony. She had to be dragged back up. Poor stage Pappageno…

  2. merilee
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink


  3. merilee
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Be sure to watch the credits at the end🤓

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Ah yes!

      … Morpork? Is THAT what that is? A bird?

      As in Terry Pratchett’s Ankh Morpork?

      • Posted April 1, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        We’re not long back from New Zealand, where the Morepork is native. Named after its call.

  4. Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    That was lovely! I am cheered by this. Thank you
    merilee and Jerry.

  5. BobS
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Professor Coyne, this is waaaay off topic, but it’s a topic that I think many people would like to hear your thoughts on.
    Law professor Richard Epstein (who describes himself as quite learned in evolutionary theory) has been in the news recently.
    This paper ( seems to have gotten the attention of renaissance man Jared Kushner, who reportedly heads Trump’s shadow coronavirus task force. It should be noted that as events overtake Epstein’s initial predictions, he seems to amend those predictions hoping that other people don’t notice.
    There have also been a couple of interesting (to say the least) interviews of Epstein subsequent to the initial paper, here ( and here ( Inasmuch as he may have some role in shaping the Trump administration response, if you’re not busy, would you share your expertise, please?

  6. Debra Coplan
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Delightful!!! Thank you so much-

  7. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink


    The video portion is BUSY – I’m dizzy from watching it

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff, Spring and Birds.

  9. rickflick
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Fun! 🦜

  10. JoanL
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, this brought a big smile.

  11. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I assume you have a copy of Peter and the Wolf? Major duck role there.

  12. Posted April 1, 2020 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    This is beautiful ❤️

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