The Singing Teacher was the debut film of the great Russian director, Anatoliy Petrov (1937 – 2010) who died last Wednesday. For an orbituary may I point to an authorative and appreciative digest of Anatoliy's life by Georgiy Borodin, translated by niffiwan. The Singing Teacher takes an incongruously huge hippopotamus into the study of a suitably academic professor who, although initially startled, nevertheless attempts to teach the beast to sing. Hippo’s are not born for the high notes and the old fellow becomes increasingly frustrated as the lesson degenerates. Neither can be faulted for effort however though the scholar has to sink low indeed to raise standards. Stylistically I should point to the realistic manner of the artwork, albeit the hippo has a head and body impossibly squared, the antithesis of art one might think. Anatoliy's work is available widely although comparatively few of his films have English subtitles. I shall certainly write more about his work.