Quiz about His Immortal Beloved Dies
Quiz about His Immortal Beloved Dies

His Immortal Beloved Dies Trivia Quiz

Several operas are named after the male hero. In many cases the woman he loves, dies. Match the correct woman to the title character.

A matching quiz by JanIQ. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Nov 06 22
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Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 20% Quiz
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Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Whom did Orfeo try to fetch from the underworld?  
2. Which queen of Lemnos died for Giasone?  
3. Whom did Otello kill?  
4. Who foretold her own death after Roberto Devereux was executed at her orders?  
5. Who married Lohengrin?  
Elsa of Brabant
6. What was the name of Rigoletto's daughter?  
7. Who bore a child to Faust?  
8. According to Puccini, who was the sole woman remaining loyal to Edgar?  
9. Who chose to die together with Andrea Chenier?  
10. Who hung herself after recognising her husband Oedipus as her son?  

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Whom did Orfeo try to fetch from the underworld?

Answer: Euridice

The very first opera that still is performed into the 21st Century, was Claudio Monteverdi's "Orfeo" (1607). The opera is based upon a classical Greek myth, but most names are changed into the Roman equivalent of the Greek deities.
Orfeo was one of the most talented musicians who ever lived. He fell in love with the nymph Euridice. Alas, a messenger announced that Euridice was bitten by a snake and had succumbed. Orfeo then decided to go to Plutone, the god of the underworld, and plead for her remittance. Convinced by his wife Proserpina, Plutone agreed on one condition: Orfeo should not look back before the lovers leave the underworld. And the tragedy occurred once again: almost at the exit, Orfeo doubted if Euridice still followed him, and looked behind - only to see Euridice dragged into the underworld once more. In the final act, Orfeo was (at his own request) taken from the land of the living by Apollo.

Monteverdi (1567-1643) is often cited as the first opera composer. This allegation may be false, but "Orfeo" is indeed the oldest opera that was still available in the 20th and 21st Century, and it has been recorded in its full version several times. There are also some Youtube videos with the complete opera.

Monteverdi is best known for his madrigals and vespers. He also composed about 25 dramatic music pieces such as ballets and operas, but several of these have been lost.
2. Which queen of Lemnos died for Giasone?

Answer: Isifile

Francesco Cavalli's opera "Giasone" was first performed in 1648. Although the title refers to the hero of the Greek myth who sought (and found) the Golden Fleece, several plot elements diverge from the original myth.

According to the opera, Giasone was already married to Isifile (in Greek: Hypsipyle), the queen of Lemnos, and had twins with her, when he set out for Colchis to find the Golden Fleece. To obtain this artefact, he needed the help of Medea, princess of Colchis, who only would help him if he'd marry her. The plot got even more complicated, as Medea was already married to Egeo, king of Athens. Many murder plots were crafted, and in the end Isifile declared that she was dying for Giasone, because of his infidelity.

Cavalli (1602-1676) has left us at least 26 operas and musical works for the stage.
3. Whom did Otello kill?

Answer: Desdemona

Shakespeare's drama "Othello" has inspired several composers, most notably Gioacchino Rossini and Giuseppe Verdi. In this info, I'll discuss Rossini's version from 1816.

Otello, a Moorish captain employed by the Doge of Venice, was secretly married to Desdemona, the betrothed of the Doge's son Roderigo. Desdemona was quite a good catch: Iago also hoped to ask for her hand in marriage. Then Iago lay hands on a love letter by Roderigo to Desdemona, and in showing this letter to Otello, he hoped Otello would get rid of Roderigo. Alas, Otello was so consumed by jealousy that he murdered his wife Desdemona. When Otello found out the truth, he followed his wife into death.

Rossini (1792-1868) was a prolific opera composer. There were some years in which four new operas by Rossini debuted. At least 55 works for the musical theatre by Rossini have survived, most notably "Otello", "La Gazza Ladra" ("The Thieving Magpie") and "Guillaume Tell".
4. Who foretold her own death after Roberto Devereux was executed at her orders?

Answer: Elisabetta

Gaetano Donizetti created the opera "Roberto Devereux", which premiered in 1837. It is based on several theatre plays that mix the real life of Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex, with fictive love stories.

According to the opera, Roberto had been revoked from Ireland after having convened a truce with some rebels. Roberto had been charged with treason, and the death sentence needed only Elisabetta's signature. Elisabetta (the queen Elizabeth I) once was in love with Roberto, and if he would prove his loyalty, she'd be willing to forgive him. But then the Earl of Nottingham and his wife Sara spoiled everything: Sara, a former lover of Roberto, had given him a shawl that arouses Nottingham's suspicion, and when Roberto asked Sara to hand Elisabetta Roberto's ring as a pledge of fidelity, Nottingham stopped her from delivering it. Finally a cannon shot announced that Roberto has been executed, and Elisabetta then prophesied that she would die soon afterwards. She even named her successor, James VI of Scotland.

Donizetti (1797-1848) composed about 75 operas, including various revisions of previous versions. His best known works are "Elisabetta al castello di Kenilworth" (1829), "Anna Bolena" (1830) and "Maria Stuarda" (1835), as well as "L'elisir d'amore" (1832) and "Lucia di Lammermoor" (1835).
5. Who married Lohengrin?

Answer: Elsa of Brabant

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) composed the music and wrote the lyrics to the opera "Lohengrin" (1850), as well as to all his other operas.

The opera "Lohengrin" is set near Antwerp, somewhere around 930 AD. It starts with a dispute about the Duchy of Brabant: the rightful heir Gottfried of Brabant (still a minor) had disappeared, and his guardian Friedrich von Telramund accused Gottfried's elder sister Elsa of having murdered him.
The German Emperor settled the dispute by commanding a trial by ordeal. Telramund agreed to fight whoever came to answer to Elsa's prayers, and a mysterious knight in shining armour arrived in a boat pulled by a gracious swan. The knight won the duel, and promised to marry Elsa - on one condition: that she never ask for his name.

After the wedding, Telramund and his wife Ortrud schemed to have Elsa break her vow of secrecy. The knight killed Telramund, but as Elsa had popped the fatal question, he had to reveal that he was in fact Lohengrin, a knight of the Holy Grail sworn never to reveal his identity. Ortrud repented and confessed herself to be a witch, and she also confessed that the swan was in fact the missing Gottfried. As Ortrud was drowned by the masses and Lohengrin left for good, Elsa succumbed to a broken heart.

Wagner created about a dozen operas, of which ten are still regularly performed.
6. What was the name of Rigoletto's daughter?

Answer: Gilda

"Rigoletto" (1851) is Verdi's opera named after the court jester of the Duke of Mantua.

According to the opera, the Duke of Mantua was a womanizer out to seduce everyone in a skirt - and after he raped them, he moved on to another conquest.
The opera started with a merry drinking occasion, on which the Duke boasted of having seduced the countess Ceprano. Then the old Count Monterone appeared, accusing the Duke of having raped Monterone's daughter.

Count Monterone cursed the Duke for the rape and Rigoletto for making fun of Monterone. Rigoletto feared this curse ("La Maledizione!" - a recurring motif) greatly.

The Duke then turned his attention to a young girl known to him only as Gilda - in fact Rigoletto's daughter, whom he had hidden from society: Gilda only left the house to go to church. Gilda believed the Duke to be a poor student, and gladly slept with him.

Rigoletto decided to have his vengeance and hired the assassin Sparafucile, and meanwhile ordered Gilda to dress as a man and flee to Verona. Soon after, Sparafucile brought Rigoletto a bag containing the dying victim of a stabbing. Rigoletto then heard the Duke singing his signature song "La donna è mobile", and on opening the bag discovered his dying daughter Gilda. He just uttered "La Maledizione!" once more and fell to earth dying.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) composed about 25 operas. Besides "Rigoletto", his best known works are "Nabucco" (1842), "Il Trovatore" (1853), "La Traviata" (1853) and "Aida" (1871).
7. Who bore a child to Faust?

Answer: Marguerite

Charles Gounod based an opera on the first part of Goethe's poem "Faust". The opera debuted in 1859, but was completely revised in 1869.

Faust was an eternal student, who came to the conclusion that all his studies had not led to anything valuable. Then Méphistophélès (the devil) appeared, and magically transformed Faust into a beautiful young man. As such Faust met Marguérite and immediately fell for her charms. Méphistophélès used his infernal powers to make Faust and Marguérite share a bed one night, and as a result Marguérite was with child. When Marguérite's brother Valentin returned from war and found out what happened, he challenged Faust to a duel - which Faust won by Méphistophélès' trickery. The dying Valentin cursed Faust and Marguérite, who then was condemned to death for having killed her child. In the final act, Faust tried to free Marguérite, but she refused, trusting in God's intervention instead.

Gounod (1818-1893) is best known for his "Ave Maria", a rework of a prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach. But he also left us a dozen operas, including also "Roméo et Juliette".
8. According to Puccini, who was the sole woman remaining loyal to Edgar?

Answer: Fidelia

"Edgar" (1889) is the second opera by Giacomo Puccini, but far less known than his later operas.

Gualtiero has brought up his children Fidelia and Frank, as well as the foundling Tigrana. When these three were adults, Tigrana eloped with Edgar and started a sinful life with him - although Frank was in love with Tigrana too. When Edgar became tired of living with Tigrana in sinful merrymaking, he enlisted in the platoon led to war by Frank. In the final act, Frank and his soldiers headed a funeral procession for Edgar, who (according to Frank) died in battle as a hero. The monk who joined the procession denied this, and accused Edgar of having lived in sin with Tigrana and having betrayed his country. All but Fidelia then tried to violate the corpse, that in fact was only an empty armour - Edgar had assumed the identity of the monk. As Fidelia and Edgar tried to leave together, Tigrana stabbed Fidelia, who died in Edgar's arms.

Puccini (1858-1924) has composed about a dozen operas. "Edgar" was the least popular of these, and Puccini himself thought it was a failure. Later operas by Puccini were true successes: "Manon Lescaut" (1893), "La Bohème" (1896), "Tosca" (1900), "Madam Butterfly" (1904) and "Turandot" (1926). 
9. Who chose to die together with Andrea Chenier?

Answer: Maddalena

Umberto Giordano (1867-1948) composed a dozen operas, of which "Andrea Chenier" is perhaps the most popular.

Main character is Andrea, a French poet during the French Revolution. According to the libretto, Andrea met Maddalena (daughter of a countess) at a soiree held by the Contessa. The major-domo of the Contessa, Gerard, was secretly enamoured with Maddalena, but Maddalena fell for Andrea's charms.

As Andrea was associated with an anti-revolutionary general, Gerard advised him to flee the country. Andrea refused and was condemned to death. Maddalena then bribed the prison guard and swapped places with a condemned noblewoman, and in the end Andrea and Maddalena joined hands on their way to the guillotine.
10. Who hung herself after recognising her husband Oedipus as her son?

Answer: Jocasta

"Oedipus Rex" (1927) is an opera-oratorio with a quite different structure from other operas. It starts with a spoken summary in the audience's language, and then both acts are sung in Latin.

The opera is quite similar to the Greek myth it is based upon. It starts with a great plague in the city of Thebes. Oedipus, the king, promised to save the city. Oedipus' brother-in-law Creon consulted the Oracle at Delphi and came back with the terrible news that he who had murdered the previous king Laius lived in Thebes; this angered the gods thus that they struck the city with the plague. Jocasta, Oedipus' wife, then revealed an older prophecy of the Oracle: Laius would be killed by his son.

Oedipus then gradually unravelled the truth: a few years before, Oedipus quarrelled with an elderly man and killed him - in similar circumstances as Laius was murdered. Then a messenger informed Oedipus that the king of Corinth died, and that contrary to Oedipus' belief, the King of Corinth was not Oedipus' real father but had raised the foundling Oedipus. Finally the shepherd who left Oedipus at the palace of Corinth announced the final missing element: Oedipus was indeed the son of Laius and Jocasta. Realizing the atrocity, Jocasta (off-stage) committed suicide by hanging, and Oedipus blinded himself and went in exile.

Igor Stravinski (1882-1971) composed "Oedipus Rex", but is better known for the ballet "The Rite of Spring" - a famous or infamous ballet: you either love it or hate it.
Source: Author JanIQ

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