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

Voltaire

Feedback:

It was Beaumarchais. The play was the sequel to his 'The Barber of Seville' and was hugely successful.

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

Feedback:

Correct! The operetta was produced at the Savoy Theatre in 1875. It was only the second work on which Gilbert and Sullivan had collaborated.

He orders the fiancé to marry her

He awards her £2,000 compensation

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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

Lohengrin

Feedback:

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

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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

William Mathias

Feedback:

Correct! Mathias (1934-1992) was 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.

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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

Bagpipes

Feedback:

Correct! 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.

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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