Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Opera Quiz for March

From now through May when you listen to Saturday Afternoon at the Opera with Peter Fox Smith you'll have a chance to play the opera quiz. It's easy: you'll listen to a great operatic voice (past or present), pick up a clue or two, and take your best guess as to who the voice is.

This month's quiz took place last Saturday, with NO clues given except for the voice itself. If you were listening closely, however, you probably realized the very same voice was featured in the Met's production of Tchaikovsky's "The Queen of Spades" at 1pm.

Our singer first came to international attention in 1983 at age 23 when she won the annual Cardiff Singer of the World competition. She was still a student at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki at the time. Her professional debut came two years later in the role of Pamina, in a Covent Garden production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute".

Perhaps her most - celebrated - stage appearance came in 2008, when the 49-year old singer took on the scintillating title role of Salome in the Metropolitan Opera's regular season production. Singers generally have the option with this role to go in the buff, as the screen action calls for, or to wear a more modest tight-fitted skin-colored leotard. Our singer created an outright sensation by saying she "had nothing to hide" when she boldly chose the first option!

With that many clues you probably already know the answer by now, so we'll bring this month's quiz to a "big Finnish" and reveal the mystery voice. She is.................Finnish soprano Karita Mattila!

Thanks to everyone who sent in guesses, the winner of this month's opera quiz is (again!) Edward Roesner of Saranac Lake, NY. Congratulations! He will be receiving an inscribed copy of Peter Fox Smith's book A Passion for Opera.

Listen for the next two Saturday Afternoon at the Opera quizzes on April 16th, and May 7th. And, until then - enjoy this delicious (but appropriately modest - don't worry) "Dance of the Seven Veils" scene from Mattila's famous 2008 Met appearance as Salome.

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