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"A Slight at the Opera" is the 14th episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom Modern Family, and the series' 86th episode overall. It aired February 6, 2013. The episode was written by Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh and directed by Jim Bagdonas. For his performance in the episode, Nathan Lane received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.

"A Slight at the Opera"
Modern Family episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 14
Directed byJim Bagdonas
Written byPaul Corrigan
Brad Walsh
Production code4ARG14
Original air dateFebruary 6, 2013
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Heart Broken"
Modern Family (season 4)
List of Modern Family episodes



Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) puts on a school production of the "Phantom of the Opera", but when their main star falls ill, Manny (Rico Rodriguez) pulls all the stops to land the lead part. When Cameron hears Luke (Nolan Gould) singing, he wants him to take the lead. So Manny tells him that he will talk to Luke to convince him. Instead, he terrifies Luke and Luke does not accept the part. When later Cameron asks Manny to hear Luke singing so he can see how to make it right, Manny understands that it is not right what he did and he lets Luke take the leading part of the play.

Cam has Gloria (Sofia Vergara) running for the errands of the play and she takes Alex (Ariel Winter) with her for help. Since they have some time to kill, Gloria takes Alex to her psychic (Norma Maldonado). Alex, who does not believe in psychics, she is having fun with the whole thing and she wants to tell Gloria that her psychic is fake, but at the end she changes her mind.

Meanwhile, Phil (Ty Burrell) decides that learning how to golf is necessary for his business and Jay (Ed O'Neill) agrees to teach him. Phil is really excited for that but he is not the best student someone could ask for. While they are golfing, Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) gets there with his friend Pepper (Nathan Lane). Mitch tells his dad that he has been practicing for a while now and the four of them end up playing a game; Jay and Phil against Mitch and Pepper.

With Cam in school, Mitch and Jay golfing and Gloria out, Claire (Julie Bowen) stays home to watch over Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) and little Joe. When she slips on one of the golf balls Phil left on the floor, she wants to teach him that leaving things around is not a good thing. Busy trying to make a plan for this, Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Dylan (Reid Ewing) end up being the ones watching the two kids.

The episode ends with the school play for which Luke's grandfather (Fred Willard) flew from Florida just to see him even if he was just painting a wall. No one knows that Luke got the lead part. Phil and Claire are surprised and moved when they see him on stage singing.



In its original American broadcast, "A Slight at the Opera" was watched by 9.83 million; down 1  from the previous episode.[1]


"A Slight at the Opera" received mostly positive reviews.

Claire Zulkey of The A.V. Club gave a B+ grade. "What's most important is that Modern Family can still pull out strong episodes, so long as the writing is solid and the show can avoid falling into its own clichés. [...] the writing made the episode. Were Haley, Alex or Claire really relevant? Not really, but the show can still pull off a pretty funny installment without giving everyone a great storyline, so long as the jokes are silly, strange and rapid-fire."[2]

Leigh Raines of TV Fanatic gave the episode 4/5 praising Lane's guest appearance. "Golf isn't exactly my cup of tea, but Lane manages to jazz up any scene he's in."[3]

Dalene Rovenstine of Paste Magazine rated the episode with 8.7/10 stating that the episode was solid and she was pleasantly surprised after last week's let down. "There were great one-off lines, the storylines were accurately balanced, and the episode as a whole was understated but solid."[4]

Michael Adams of 411mania gave the episode 8.5/10 saying that this episode was very funny and creative. "I think what I loved the most about this episode, outside of the previously mentioned parts, was that Dylan was present and strong. Dylan is like Bruce Wayne/Batman. He's there and your enjoying him, and then he vanishes out of nowhere! [...] Use that kid more often Modern Family."[5]

Victoria Leigh Miller from Yahoo! TV found the episode slightly familiar but in the right way. "School plays, a wacky babysitting adventure, a psychic pit stop, and a retro revisit to a sad song? This "Modern Family" episode was slightly familiar, but in all the right ways."[6]

Zach Dionne from Vulture gave the episode 3/5 saying that this week was "...harmless and not hilarious. Good enough."[7]


  1. ^ Bibel, Sara (February 7, 2013). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Supernatural', 'Criminal Minds' & 'Chicago Fire' Adjusted Up; 'Modern Family', 'The Neighbors' & 'Suburgatory' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers.
  2. ^ Zulkey, Claire (February 6, 2013). "A Slight at the Opera". The A.V. Club.
  3. ^ Raines, Leigh (February 7, 2013). "Modern Family Review: Cats In The Cradle". TV Fanatic.
  4. ^ Rovenstine, Dalene (February 7, 2013) "Modern Family Review: A Slight at the Opera (Episode 4.14)" Paste Magazine
  5. ^ Adams, Michael (February 6, 2013). "Modern Family Review - 4.14 'A Slight at the Opera'". 411mania.
  6. ^ Leigh Miller, Victoria (February 7, 2013). Yahoo! ‘Modern Family’ recap, review: ‘A Slight at the Opera’ is slightly familiar Archived May 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine TV
  7. ^ Dionne, Zach (February 7, 2013). "Modern Family Recap: Stagehand Luke". Vulture.

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