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Quiz about Mozart Operas
Quiz about Mozart Operas

Mozart Operas Trivia Quiz


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed symphonies, concerti, sonatas, and about twenty operas. This quiz deals only with the operas (as defined by Free Dictionary: theatrical presentation in which a dramatic performance is set to music).

A multiple-choice quiz by JanIQ. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
JanIQ
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
414,271
Updated
Nov 08 23
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
113
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: erremindent (0/10), Linda_Arizona (10/10), Lucia-pazza (8/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Mozart completed his first solo opera in 1767. The plot (based upon Ovid's "Metamorphoses") tells how a prince was killed by Apollo's discus and transformed into beautiful flowers. Who was the prince killed by Apollo? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which king of Pontus is the title character in an opera by Mozart (1770) and an opera by Alessandro Scarlatti (1707)? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Which of these operas by Mozart was inspired by a character from Homer's "Iliad"? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Which opera contains the very challenging arias "Martern aller Arten" for soprano and "O, wie will ich triumphieren" for bass? Pay attention: we're looking for an opera by Mozart, while some of the red herrings are by other composers. Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In which comic opera by Mozart did Count Almaviva hope to have a secret rendezvous with his servant maid Susanna, while Susanna swapped clothes with the Countess Rosina? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Who sang the famous list in "Don Giovanni"? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In which opera by Mozart do the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella appear, as well as their lovers Ferrando and Guglielmo? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In the Singspiel "Der Stein der Weisen" composed by Mozart, Henneberg, Gerl, Schack and Schikaneder, Mozart contributed with an aria where the soprano sings as an animal. Which animal? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. One of the final operas by Mozart was named after the Roman Emperor who completed the Colosseum. Which of these operas had its first night in 1791? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Which character sings in "Die Zauberflöte" the catchy theme "Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja" ("The bird catcher am I indeed")? Hint





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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Mozart completed his first solo opera in 1767. The plot (based upon Ovid's "Metamorphoses") tells how a prince was killed by Apollo's discus and transformed into beautiful flowers. Who was the prince killed by Apollo?

Answer: Hyacinthus

The title to the Mozart opera is "Apollo et Hyacinthus", the only Mozart opera with a Latin libretto.

In the first act we meet King Oebalus, his daughter Melia and his son Hyacinthus. Apollo came as a guest to King Oebalus, and lost his heart to Melia - not aware that Hyacinthus in turn developed erotic feelings for Apollo.

Hyacinthus confided in Zephyr, but Zephyr spilled the beans. During a match of discus throwing, Apollo hit Hyacinthus in the head, fatally wounding him.

Melia turned down Apollo's proposal because she suspected foul play. But in the last act, Hyacinthus explained with his last breath the correct state of affairs. Then Hyacinthus turned into a bunch of hyacinth flowers, and Melia and Apollo at last married each other.

Narcissus was also turned into a flower, after he drowned himself admiring his image in a pool. Other versions tell how he pined away, or killed himself by repeated blows to his chest.

Zeus and Hermes altered Philemon and his wife Baucis into two trees (an oak and a linden) because of their hospitality.

Daphne was a young nymph romantically pursued by Apollo. At her request, she was turned into laurel tree.
2. Which king of Pontus is the title character in an opera by Mozart (1770) and an opera by Alessandro Scarlatti (1707)?

Answer: Mithridates

In Mozart's opera "Mitridate, re di Ponto" King Mithridates went missing after a battle against Roman troops. His elder son Farnace then proposed to Mitridate's fiancée Aspasia, but she fell in love with Mitridate's younger son Sifare. When Mitridate returned and brought with him the Parthian princess Ismene, whom he wanted to betroth to Farnace, things got quite complicated.

Picture these relations at the start of act 2: Mitridate wanted to marry Aspasia, while Farnace had set eyes on her. Aspasia would settle for Sifare. Farnace threatened his betrothed Ismene, whereupon she turned to Sifare.

In the third act the Romans lead by Pompey struck once again. Mitridate decided to commit suicide, but before succumbing he settled the family relations: Sifare should marry Aspasia and Farnace should marry Ismene, and all pledged to continue war on the Romans.

Darius, Xerxes and Cyrus all were Persian kings, and only one of them appears in any opera: Xerxes was the title character in an opera by Handel.
3. Which of these operas by Mozart was inspired by a character from Homer's "Iliad"?

Answer: Idomeneo, Re di Creta

"Idomeneo, Re di Creta" had its first night in 1781. The title character Idomeneo was indeed a minor character in the "Iliad", where he commanded the Cretan troops in 80 ships.

The opera evolved shortly after the Trojan War. Idomeneo's ship was hit by a severe storm, and he vowed to sacrifice the first living being he would encounter if he safely arrived on shore. Idomeneo made it indeed safely to shore, but then the first living creature he encountered was his son Idamante. As soon as Idomeneo recognized his son, he backed out of his promise and sent his son into exile.

This did of course not please the sea god Neptune, who sent a terrible monster to sack Idomeneo's kingdom. Idamante volunteered to fight the monster, and with success. Then Idamante declared to be ready for the sacrifice.

As the preparations were well under way, Neptune's voice was heard: instead of demanding the death of brave Idamante, Neptune would be satisfied if Idomeneo abdicated in favor of his son. The opera then concluded with the crowning of Idamante and his marriage to the Trojan princess Ilia.

"Bastien und Bastienne" was a pastoral opera, describing the love of a shepherd and a shepherdess.

"Il Sogno di Scipione" described a dream of Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal and the Carthaginians.

"Der Schauspieldirektor" was a Singspiel depicting how a contemporary impresario would solve the rivalry between his two star sopranos.
4. Which opera contains the very challenging arias "Martern aller Arten" for soprano and "O, wie will ich triumphieren" for bass? Pay attention: we're looking for an opera by Mozart, while some of the red herrings are by other composers.

Answer: Die Entführung aus dem Serail

"Die Entführung aus dem Serail" was first performed in 1782 with as star singers the very talented soprano Caterina Cavalieri and the equally talented bass Ludwig Fischer. As Mozart also did in some of his other operas, he modelled the most demanding arias to the voice qualities of the soloists.

The story is as follows. The Spanish nobleman Belmonte went looking for his fiancée Constanze, who was sold by pirates to the Turkish Selim Pasha and ended up in his hareem. Pasha declared his love for Constance, and when she spurned him, uttered various threats. Constance then responded with "Martern aller Arten" - an aria in which she described that all kinds of torture would not harm her, as long as she kept faithful to her betrothed.

Belmonte found out Constanze's whereabouts and tried to gain entrance. Osmin, the Pasha's guard, arrived in time to thwart Belmonte's plans, on which he burst out "O, wie will ich triumphieren" ("O, how will I triumph"). But much to Osmin's disappointment, the Pasha decided to let free Belmonte and Constanze.

"Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots" was a sacred drama composed by Mozart (part I) and by his teachers Michael Haydn (part II) and Anton Adlgasser (part III). However, only the first part survived, and both other parts went missing.

"Der Freischutz" was an opera by Carl Maria von Weber.

Kurt Weill composed the opera "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahoganny".
5. In which comic opera by Mozart did Count Almaviva hope to have a secret rendezvous with his servant maid Susanna, while Susanna swapped clothes with the Countess Rosina?

Answer: Le Nozze di Figaro

"Le Nozze di Figaro" is the only of the listed operas that was composed by Mozart. It is based upon the second theatre play by Beaumarchais in the "Figaro" trilogy.

Mozart's opera starts with Figaro as a valet to Count Almaviva. Almaviva has married Rosina, and Figaro was preparing his own wedding to the servant Susanna. But then Almaviva demanded to use the "Droit du Seigneur" - in polite terms: the landlord only approves the marriage of a servant girl after having her in his own bed. Susanna and Rosina then devised the plot to change clothes and fool the Count.

Meanwhile Dr. Bartolo, the lawyer who intended to marry Rosina himself, threatened Figaro to repay a loan by Bartolo's former housekeeper Marcellina. Figaro had promised to marry Marcellina if he could not repay his debt. But Bartolo's plot failed: an unexpected twist revealed that Figaro was the long lost son of Marcellina.

In the final act, Figaro discovered Susanna (dressed as Rosina) spying on the secret tryst by Count Almaviva and Rosina (in Susanna's clothes), and Figaro wooed then the so-called Rosina to make Almaviva jealous.

"Il Barbiere di Sevilla" was an opera by Rossini based upon the first theatre play in the Figaro trilogy, while Darius Milhaud composed "La mère coupable" based on the final play in the trilogy.
"Tarare" was an opera by Salieri with a libretto by Beaumarchais.
6. Who sang the famous list in "Don Giovanni"?

Answer: Leporello

Leporello, the manservant to Don Giovanni, had a list of all the women his employer had conquered. When Don Giovanni moved in onto Donna Elvira, Leporello spilled the beans: "In Italia, 640; in Allemania, 231; 100 in Francia, in Turchia 91; ma in Ispania, in Ispania ... 1003".

Don Giovanni is indeed the womanizer first class as described by Leporello. In the first act Giovanni duelled with Il commendatore, Donna Anna's father, and killed him. Later on he met Donna Elvira, who was saddened by the departure of her lover - who in the end was revealed to be none other than Don Giovanni.

In search of other romantic adventures, Don Giovanni then tried his luck with Zerlina - a shepherdess betrothed to Masetto. Donna Elvira spoiled the seduction plot and ran off with Zerlina.

Meanwhile Donna Anna and her fiancé Don Ottavio recognized Don Giovanni as the murderer of Il Commendatore. Don Giovanni then visited the cemetery where a statue of Il Commendatore was already erected, and in a moment of false security he invited the statue for dinner.

In the final act, Don Giovanni and Donna Elvira enjoyed their dinner, up till the moment the statue of Il Commendatore arrived. After having offered Don Giovanni a last chance to repent and alter his lifestyle, the statue called up some demons to drag Don Giovanni to hell.
7. In which opera by Mozart do the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella appear, as well as their lovers Ferrando and Guglielmo?

Answer: Cosi Fan Tutte

"Cosi Fan Tutte" premiered in 1790. The first act introduced Ferrando, an officer betrothed to Dorabella, and his friend Guglielmo, betrothed to Dorabella's sister Fiordiligi. In a pub the two officers boosted that their fiancées would ever be loyal to them, and the nobleman Don Alfonso placed a bet on this. Ferrando and Guglielmo were officially sent to war, but secretly came back disguised as Albanians to try and win over each other's betrothed.

At first the deception would not work, but Don Alfonso enlisted the maid Despina to help the devious plot. After a number of complications, the sisters were found ready to sign marriage contracts to the Albanians, and Despina (disguised as a notary) collected the evidence. In a final twist Ferrando and Guglielmo came back, half disguised as the Albanians, to confess the scheme. So in the end they did marry their own fiancée.

In several operas, "notaries" take down false documents. "Don Pasquale" by Donizetti presents a false notary making up false matrimony contracts, and Haydn's "Lo Speziale" has even two false notaries falsifying a matrimony contract. In "Gianni Schicchi" by Puccini, a notary writes down the last will and testimony of Buoso Donati, who at that moment was already dead and impersonated by Gianni Schicchi.
8. In the Singspiel "Der Stein der Weisen" composed by Mozart, Henneberg, Gerl, Schack and Schikaneder, Mozart contributed with an aria where the soprano sings as an animal. Which animal?

Answer: Cat

One of the very few operas by several composers, "Der Stein der Weisen" had its first night in 1790. The best known of these composers was of course Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but Emmanuel Schikaneder also had gained fame with operas - mainly as librettist. In 1790 Johann Baptist Henneberg was Kapellmeister in Vienna, Benedikt Schack already had composed a few Singspiele for the theatre group led by Emmanuel Schikaneder, and Franz Xaver Gerl was a bass singer.

In the second act of "Der Stein der Weisen" is a duet (composed by Mozart) between a tenor and his beloved soprano, who (for reasons unknown) only repeats the word "Meow".

Later composers would also introduce a cat character: Prokofiev in "Peter and the Wolf" and Ravel in "L'enfant et les sortilèges". The most famous cat duet is ascribed to Gioacchino Rossini, but may be well a compilation made by Robert de Pearsall.

The lark refers to Ralph Vaughn Wiiliams' composition "The Lark Ascending". Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov completed in 1908 an opera starring a rooster: "The Golden Cockerel" (in the original language: "Zolotoy petushok"). And one of the fourteen movements in Saint-Saens' "Le Carnival d'Animaux" is named "L'Eléphant" and performed on piano and double bass.
9. One of the final operas by Mozart was named after the Roman Emperor who completed the Colosseum. Which of these operas had its first night in 1791?

Answer: La Clemenza di Tito

"La Clemenza di Tito" refers indeed to the real Emperor Titus (who ruled from 79 to 81 AD), but most of the story is made up.

Tito had to choose a bride, and Vitellia hoped she would be his favourite. But Tito proposed to her sister Servilia, via a messenger Annio (who was in love with Servilia). Servilia confessed to Tito her love for Annio, and thus Tito decided to take Vitellia for his bride. Vitellia only received word of Tito's proposal to Servilia (and not of the following reversal of plans), and so urged her friend Sesto to kill Tito.

The murder attempt failed, and Sesto was condemned to death. Vitellia then confessed she was the instigator of the murder attempt. In the end Tito pardoned both of them - hence the title which translates to "Tito's Mercy".

Handel composed an opera "Giulio Cesare" in 1724. In 1709, Handel also completed an opera named "Agrippina" - named after the mother of Emperor Nero.
Donizetti's opera "Belisario" (1836) was named after the principal general of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.
10. Which character sings in "Die Zauberflöte" the catchy theme "Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja" ("The bird catcher am I indeed")?

Answer: Papageno

"Die Zauberflöte" was the last of Mozart's operas to have its first night, in 1791.

In the first act, Prince Tamino was chased by a huge serpent. After fainting, he was rescued by three ladies, and then he met Papageno, whom he credited with killing the snake.

Tamino and Papageno then were sent on a mission to rescue the beautiful princess Pamina from the evil Monostatos, a servant to the high priest Sarastro.

After having endured trials of fire and water, Tamino married Pamina.

Papageno meanwhile had met his bride Papagena during the quest, and they also lived happily ever after.
Source: Author JanIQ

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