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Episode 1425

Air Date: April 4, 1975
Previous Episode: 1424
Next Episode: 1426
Purchase/Stream: Amazon

This episode features one of several Neighborhood operas and opens with a brief introduction from Mister Rogers. As he sets the scene for the opera, Mister Rogers takes viewers to the sandbox in his back yard since the opening scene of the opera takes place on a beach.

The opera begins with Betty (played by Lady Aberlin) and her brother Lloyd (Mr. Allmine) digging in the sand on a beach. Lloyd discovers an old key which unlocks the door to another land. Upon entering the other land, the siblings are confronted by a wicked witch (Lady Elaine Fairchilde) and her sidekick (H.J. Elephant). Betty is ordered to give up the key but when she doesn't, Lloyd is taken away by the witch to her taffy factory.

Betty is obviously upset. She is approached by a swan (Reardon) who is willing to help out along with assistance from the beavers (Francois Clemmons and Mayor Maggie). The witch's sidekick returns and tells Betty that her brother is being kept in a glass room at the taffy factory where he is being forced to exercise. The swan enlists the help of his parents (Miss Paulificate and Chef Brockett) and the group sets out to rescue Lloyd.

As the witch sleeps, the group discovers the combination to the lock keeping Lloyd captive and sets him free. Betty awakens on the beach and, realizing the trip to the other land was a dream, buries the key back in the sand for someone else to find.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about good dreams and bad dreams before revealing the true meaning behind the lock combination. The numbers correspond to letters and their places in the alphabet -- 12-15-22-5 is translated to L-O-V-E.


I found the casting of this opera to be very interesting. The part of the witch is a no-brainer as there is no better Neighborhood regular to play such a part than Lady Elaine Fairchilde. The parts of the swans, on the other hand, were a bit more interesting. Who would have ever thought a burly Chef Brockett would ever be found wearing feathers and playing the part of a swan?

As a part of the opera cast, Lady Elaine Fairchilde and H.J. Elephant are listed in the episode credits as Neighbors.


A short clip from the Swan Song shared by Lady Aberlin and Reardon during the opera can be heard in the final Neighborhood episode when Neighbor Aber asks about a prize for the sand scuplture.

Appearing In This Episode




Episode Credits

With Fred Rogers
Neighbors: Chuck Aber, Betty Aberlin, Don Brockett, Francois Clemmons, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, H.J. Elephant III, Bert A. Lloyd, John Reardon, Audrey Roth, Maggie Stewart
Executive Producer: Fred Rogers
Produced and Directed by Bill Moates
Music Director: John Costa
Bass: Ronald Fudoli
Percussion: Robert Rawsthorne
Harp: Phyllis B. Susen
Written by Fred Rogers
Psychological Consultants: Margaret B. McFarland Ph.D., Albert V. Corrado M.D.
Film Producer: Laura Perkins
Associate Producers: David Newell, Nan Wheelock
Assistant Producer and Associate Director: Azriel Gamliel
Assistant to the Director: Terry Marie Baskot
Art Director: Jack Guest
Assistant Art Director: David M. Smith
Propmaster: Janus Purins
Assistant Propmaster: Norene Confeld
Lighting Director: Gregory King
Floor Manager: Nick Tallo
Assistant Floor Manager: Jim Seech
Technical Supervisors: Tom Knight, Ken Anderson
Video Tape Editor: Chet Bednar
Cameramen: Bob Vaughn, David Anthony, Jack Arthurs
Video: Don Williamson
Audio: Bob Foreman, Dick Lasota

Produced by Family Communications, Inc. in association with WQED, Pittsburgh

The people who gave the money to make this television visit are the people of Public Television Stations, Ford Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Sears-Roebuck Foundation, and Johnson & Johnson

© 1975, Family Communications, Inc.

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