Friday, February 16, 2007


I am in Portland (don't ask) and bought a couple of opera quiz books at Powell's:

The Ultimate Opera Quiz Book by Kenn Harris, 1982
Father Lee's Opera Quiz Book by M. Owen Lee, 2000

These books are tough. My brain simply doesn't collect trivia, though I did guess a few of the photographs. I wish I had been at the La Boheme from whence came the photo of very young Pavarotti and Freni. Or perhaps I was and have forgotten. I know I saw quite a bit of Mirella Freni in San Francisco. I have no excuse for not guessing Jose Carreras.

Not trivia: Leontyne Price once related that, while browsing through Saks Fifth Avenue one wintry afternoon, a shopper walked up to her, stared and finally said, "You're Joan Sutherland." "Oh, no, I'm not," purred Miss Price. "I'm Beverly Sills."

Things you ought to know:

1. What was Wagner's first opera?
2. Name Wagner's first wife.
3. Name Wagner's second wife.

The second book is completely impossible.

Imagine the questions when the answers are:

Didone, by Cavalli
Turandot by Busoni
Zampa by Herold

Unfortunately there are no trivia questions about La Leggenda di Sakuntala. I would get that one.

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