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Opera Quiz:


I. What do these have in common?

  1. Fidelio - Beethoven
  2. La Forza del Destino - Verdi
  3. Carmen - Bizet
  4. Don Giovanni - Mozart
  5. Le Nozze di Figaro - Mozart
  6. Betrothal in a Monastery - Prokofiev
  7. Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Rossini

II. What do these have in common?

  1. Fidelio - Beethoven
  2. La Forza del Destino  - Verdi
  3. La Favorite - Donizetti
  4. Il Trovatore - Verdi
  5. Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio - Verdi
  6. Rosmonda D'inghilterra - Donizetti

III. What do these have in common?

  1. Love of Three Oranges - Prokofiev
  2. Die Feen - Wagner
  3. Turandot - Puccini

IV. Forget Starlight Express; this opera premiered in 1849 and featured a ballet on roller skates. Its name?

V. We all know Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton penned the immortal words "It was a dark and stormy night." What is his connection to opera?

Please send your favorite opera trivia to the editor.












I. They are all set in (or around) Seville.

II. The leading lady is named Leonora (or Leonore or Léonor).

III. They were all based on fables by Carlo Gozzi (1720 -1806). Some would add elements of Magic Flute to the list.

IV. Le Prophète by Meyerbeer. The scene depicted skaters on a frozen lake.

V. His novel Rienzi, 1842, was the basis for Richard Wagner's first operatic success.

VI. They are:

  1. Alfred by Thomas Arne(1740)
   2. Lohengrin by Richard Wagner (1850)
   3. Orphée aux Enfers by Offenbach (1858)


VI. Here's the tune. Name the opera.
  1. "Rule Brittania"
  2. Wedding March ("Here Comes the Bride")
  3. The "can-can"

VII. Which operetta was the basis for a movie by Laurel and Hardy? Hint: it shares a name with a far more famous opera.

VIII. What is the connection between The Mother of Us All and the 1950s Superman TV series?

IX. Playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) wrote "The Figaro Trilogy": The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Guilty Mother. Which opera is based on the third of these?

X. In the original libretto of Rigoletto, Sparfucile is referred to as a "bravo." Why?
















VII. The Bohemian Girl (1843) by Michael Balfe was made into a move in 1936 starring Stan and Ollie.

VIII. Believe it or not, Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the series, wrote the libretto for Mother composer Virgil Thompson's last opera, Lord Byron (1972).

IX. Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles (1991) contains that piece as the opera-within-an-opera.

X. In Italian (and English! -see the OED), it refers to a "daring villain" or a "hired assassin."

Questions III-IX were inspired by items in Bravo: A Guide to Opera for the Perplexed by Barrymore Laurence Scherer (Plume, 1997), an excellent read for operaphiles of any degree of sophistication.