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Operatic Aliases and Disguises
"Opera plots frequently revolve around intrigue and deception, and so it's not surprising that characters sometimes assume false names or appearances. Can you solve these questions of operatic identity?"
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
In Puccini's "La Bohème", a consumptive girl is struggling up the stairs to her Paris garret on a freezing Christmas Eve. A draught blows her candle out, and she knocks at a neighbouring poet's door to ask for a light. Since this is opera, the young couple fall in love at first sight, and the girl introduces herself. "Mi chiamano Mimì, ma il mio nome è ..." ("They call me Mimi, but my name is ..."). What is the girl's real name?
In Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", the doctor's young ward Rosina has just been serenaded by an admirer, who identified himself as Lindoro. Rosina, smitten by the voice, sings an aria beginning "Una voce poco fa" ("Just a voice at break of day"), in which she vows that "Lindoro mio sarà" ("Lindoro shall be mine"). But who is Lindoro really?
In Verdi's Mantua, the daughter of the court jester Rigoletto has an admirer who bribes his way into her garden to meet her. Their tryst is interrupted, the admirer flees, and the girl sings an aria about his "caro nome" ("dear name"). She thinks he is called Gualtier Maldè, a penniless student, but who is he in fact?
The Duke of Mantua
Beethoven's Leonore has disguised herself as a man and taken a job in a prison in order to rescue her husband Florestan, who has been unjustly jailed by the governor Pizarro. She is ultimately successful, but what male name does she use during her spell as a prison officer?
(One Word - the title-role in Beethoven's only opera.)
In Puccini's opera, Lieutenant Pinkerton calls his Japanese wife Butterfly, but what is her real name?
In one of Mozart's operas, Doctor Bartolo and Marcellina had an illegitimate son whom they called Raffaello. He was carried off by bandits in his childhood, but years later he and his parents are surprisingly reunited. By what name is Raffaello now known (the name appears in the title of the opera)?
In Mozart's "Così fan tutte", Ferrando and Guglielmo are so sure of their girlfriends' fidelity that they are happy to bet on it with their cynical old friend Alfonso. They disguise themselves as foreign visitors to Naples and each of them pays court to the other's fiancée. What is their assumed nationality?
In Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" the maidservant Despina assumes two disguises in the course of the opera. What are they?
a nun and an actress
a doctor and a notary
a fortune-teller and a princess
a priest and a magician
A nameless Wanderer plays a large part in "Siegfried", the third opera of Wagner's "Ring" cycle. What is the true identity of the Wanderer?
In Rossini's "La Cenerentola" Prince Ramiro, in search of a wife, disguises himself as whom?
his tutor Alidoro
his valet Dandini
the impoverished baron Don Magnifico
an unnamed beggar
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Compiled May 22 13