6 Minute Reprieve From the World’s Troubles, Courtesy of Tilda Swinton, Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Five Springer Spaniels

This video of Til­da Swin­ton’s Springer Spaniels cavort­ing in pas­toral Scot­land to a Han­del aria per­formed by coun­tertenor Antho­ny Roth Costan­zo won’t cure what ails you, but it is def­i­nite­ly good med­i­cine.

Swin­ton and her part­ner, artist San­dro Kopp, filmed the beau­ti­ful beasts in such a way as to high­light their dog­gy exu­ber­ance, whether mov­ing as a pack or tak­ing a solo turn.

The title of the aria, “Rompo i Lac­ci,” from the sec­ond act of Flavio, trans­lates to “I break the laces,” and there’s no mis­tak­ing the joy Rosy, Dora, Louis, Dot, and Snow­bear take in being off the leash.

Flash­backs to their roly­poly pup­py selves are cute, but it’s the feath­ery ears and tails of the adult dogs that steal the show as they bound around beach and field.

The film­mak­ers get a lot of mileage from their stars’ lolling pink tongues and will­ing­ness to vig­or­ous­ly launch them­selves toward any out of frame treat.

We’ve nev­er seen a ten­nis ball achieve such beau­ty.

There’s also some fun to be had in spe­cial effects where­in the dogs are dou­bled by a mir­ror effect and lat­er, when one of them turns into a canine Rorschach blot.

The video was orig­i­nal­ly screened as part of Costan­zo’s mul­ti-media Glass Han­del instal­la­tion for Opera Philadel­phia, an explo­ration into how opera can make the hairs on the back of our neck stand up.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Stephen Fry Hosts “The Sci­ence of Opera,” a Dis­cus­sion of How Music Moves Us Phys­i­cal­ly to Tears

How a Philip Glass Opera Gets Made: An Inside Look

Til­da Swin­ton Recites Poem by Rumi While Reek­ing of Vetiv­er, Heliotrope & Musk

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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