Musical matrimony

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Question Results

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Question:

Which British opera, savaged by the critics at its premiere in 1955, recounts the weird and not-so-wonderful wedding day ordeal of runaway lovers Jennifer and Mark?

Response:

Harrison Birtwistle's 'The Mask of Orpheus'

Tippett's 'The Midsummer Marriage'

Feedback:

Correct! Tippett said of the idea behind the work: 'I saw a stage picture… of a wooded hilltop with a temple, where a warm and soft young man was being rebuffed by a cold hard young woman… to such a degree that the collective, magical archetypes take charge'

Benjamin Britten's 'Gloriana'

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Question:

Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro took its inspiration from which playwright's 1784 La folle journée?

Response:

Beaumarchais

Feedback:

Correct! The play was the sequel to his 'The Barber of Seville' and was hugely successful.

Voltaire

Molière

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Question:

How, to the sound of myriad hearty cheers, does the judge come to the aid of the plaintiff, a jilted bride, in Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury?

Response:

He says he'll marry her himself

He orders the fiancé to marry her

He awards her £2,000 compensation

Feedback:

He says he'll marry her himself. The operetta was produced at the Savoy Theatre in 1875. It was only the second work on which Gilbert and Sullivan had collaborated.

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Question:

In which Wagner opera does the famous 'Here comes the bride' Wedding March (or, more correctly, Bridal Chorus) appear?

Response:

Tristan and Isolde

Parsifal

Feedback:

It's Lohengrin. The music comes from the wedding scene of the knight Lohengrin to Elsa… but it's not all happily ever after

Lohengrin

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Question:

Though Malcolm Williamson was Master of the Queen's Music, which Welsh composer's specially commissioned Let the people praise Thee, O God, was sung at the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981?

Response:

Alun Hoddinott

Grace Williams

Feedback:

It was William Mathias (1934-1992), one of the most significant Welsh composers. He founded the North Wales Music Festival at St Asaph Cathedral in 1972 and was president of the ISM from 1990-91.

William Mathias

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Question:

In Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle, how many former wives is the Duke revealed to have had before he invites Judith to become the next?

Response:

Three

Four

Feedback:

It's three and they make an appearance at the end of the opera…

Five

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Question:

In the 1792 opera, Il matrimonio segreto, the clandestine nuptials of Carolina, a wealthy merchant's daughter, and Paolino, a secretary, cause all sorts of hoohah. Who composed it?

Response:

Mozart

Salieri

Feedback:

It was Cimarosa (1749-1801), a great composer of operas of the time. His other works include 'Il pittore parigino' and 'Le trame deluse'.

Cimarosa

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Question:

Which wind instrument makes a rare solo appearance in Peter Maxwell Davies's 1985 orchestral suite An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise?

Response:

Cor anglais

Recorder

Feedback:

It's bagpipes. The work depicts the party following a wedding in Orkney. It received its premiere at the hands of the Boston Pops Orchestra and John Williams in 1985.

Bagpipes

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Question:

Who, following a visit to a New York bridal shop, told the world that she was 'Pretty and witty and gay' in 1957?

Response:

Cunegonde in Bernstein's 'Candide'

Nellie in Sondheim's 'Sweeney Todd'

Maria in Bernstein's 'West Side Story

Feedback:

Correct! It's a musical retelling of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' set in New York