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Name the eponymous character who's responsible for bringing Baron Scarpia to a bloody end in an opera from 1900.
Lucia di Lammermoor
Correct! In Puccini's opera of the same name she kills the evil Baron Scarpia who has imprisoned and tortured her lover, Mario Cavaradossi
And, in turn, the heroine of which opera premiered in 1937 meets her fate at the hands of Jack the Ripper?
Lulu in Berg's 'Lulu
Correct! It's Lulu, premiered in the UK in 1962. Berg's heroine is just one of the many characters to die or be killed in this rather gruesome operas
Polly Peachum in Weill's 'The Threepenny Opera'
Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's 'The Rake's Progress'
Which composer infamously stabbed his wife and her lover, the Duke of Andria, to death after catching them in flagrante delicto in 1590?
Correct! But because he was from noble stock – and this being Renaissance Italy – Gesualdo went relatively unpunished…
A sinister theme on which instrument precedes Desdemona's murder in Verdi's Otello
Correct! The double bass theme leads into the opera's final, tragic scene in which the jealous Otello murders his innocent wife before killing himself
Trained as a musician, which author found performing too nerve-wracking, so turned to writing murder mysteries instead?
Dorothy L Sayers
It was Agatha Christie. Christie received training as a singer and concert pianist in Paris but stage-fright got the better of her.
In Twilight of the Gods (1993), which fictional-turned-TV detective investigates the murder of Welsh opera singer Gladys Probert?
Correct! Morse who was played in the TV series by actor John Thaw
In which opera of 1934, which puts its own composer's life at risk, does Katerina bump off her father-in-law with poisonous mushrooms before helping her lover to strangle her husband with a belt?
The Love for Three Oranges by Prokofiev
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District by Shostakovich
Correct! Shostakovich's opera was widely performed in the Soviet Union but two years after its premiere an editorial appeared in the Russian newspaper 'Pravda' denouncing the opera and the work was withdrawn until the 1960s
Un ballo in maschera by Verdi
Who, in 1703, got into a duel with fellow composer Johann Mattheson but was saved when the latter's sword broke on his button?
It was Handel. The dispute apparently came about because Handel refused to give up his seat to Mattheson at a performance of Mattheson's opera 'Cleopatra'
Whose 1943 arrangement of Somerset folksong 'Little Sir William' tells of the fate of a murdered schoolboy?
It's Britten. The song reveals that poor Little Sir William was stabbed by the school mistress: 'How can I pity your weep, mother/ And I so long in pain?/ For the little penknife/ Sticks close to my heart/ And the School Wife hath me slain.'
Which famous songwriter, played by Jeremy Northam, is seen jauntily entertaining guests at the piano while the murder of William McCordle is investigated in the 2001 film, Gosford Park?
Correct! Here's the clip
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