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Who chucked the manuscript of his Eighth Symphony on the fire in 1945, thus ensuring that it would never be heard?
It was Jean Sibelius,the Finnish Romantic composer. For the last 25 years of his life he didn't publish any music and the Eighth Symphony has become one of the great 'lost' pieces of classical music.
For which opera did Holst write a ballet in which a magician conjures up the spirits of earth, water and then fire?
'The Perfect Fool'
'At the Boar's Head'
It was 'The Perfect Fool'. The opera, written in 1918-1922, begins with a ballet in which spirits are summoned by a wizard, who recalls 'Uranus: the magician' in the composer's 'The Planets'
'The Wandering Scholar'
Which southern Italian opera house, which burnt down in suspicious circumstances in 1991, finally re-opened in 2009 with a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony?
The Teatro Massimo, Palermo
The Teatro di San Carlo, Naples
It was the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari. The last work to be performed in the theatre before the fire was Bellini's opera 'Norma'.
The Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari
For which work did the composer Manuel de Falla write his 'Ritual Fire Dance'?
'Nights in the Gardens of Spain'
'Love, the magician'
Correct! To give it its Spanish title 'El amor brujo'. The work was originally written for chamber group and then made into a ballet. The work also includes the 'Dance of Terror'.
'The Three-Cornered Hat'
Which king, who sent three Israelites into a burning fiery furnace, features in a church parable by Britten and an eponymous cantata by George Dyson?
It was Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian empire. Three Jews – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – refused to worship an idol and the king had them cast into a furnace, only for them to emerge unscathed.
For which monarch did Handel compose the Music for the Royal Fireworks in 1749?
Correct! The work was written to celebrate the end of the War of Austrian Succession.
Who, in Wagner's Ring cycle, punished Brünnhilde by keeping her prisoner on a rock, surrounded by a ring of fire?
Correct! Wotan is the king of the gods and her father. She is rescued by Siegfried.
Which work-shy composer was initially asked to write ballet music for The Firebird before Diaghilev handed the commission over to Stravinsky instead?
It was Anatoly Lyadov. The Grove Dictionary of Music says of him 'He was held in great affection by his fellow musicians, and, although he never completed a work of any size or scope, the best of his miniatures assure for him a permanent niche in the history of Russian music.'
Canadian rock group Arcade Fire found their song 'Intervention' surprisingly covered by which American opera singer in 2010?
Correct! The song appeared on her album 'Dark Hope' which also included covers of songs by Muse, Death Cab for Cutie and Duffy.
Which composer's 1956 song 'Auto-da-Fé' includes the line 'It's a lovely day for drinking and for watching people fry'?
Correct! The song comes from his opera 'Candide', inspired by Voltaire's satirical book of the same name.
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