Friday, May 6, 2011: Imagination

What is it? A bridge? A new theatre building with reflecting pool? Use your imagination ...

Imagination and the Arts

World news hasn’t been too reassuring lately. But, “I have always believed that opera is a planet where the muses work together, join hands and celebrate all the arts,” as someone said.

Just picture that. Wouldn’t that planet be a great place to live?

Or second best, to spend even an hour or two there? (Of course you can — just by going to the opera.)

But for right now, for our Friday Contest, you can visit lots of other intriguing planets –or at least, ideas — about classical music, opera, and ballet simply by savoring some quotations below by accomplished people in a variety of the arts.

If you like a challenge, you can also match the quotations with their authors (listed alphabetically in the box below. We’ve included their art to make the answers easy for you). Give yourself one point for each correct identification, and a bonus point for identifying the photo.

Use your imagination and your best guesses. How many can you match correctly?

And which of the quotes will you pick as your personal favorites?

(Oh, by the way, the quotation at the top was by director Franco Zeffirelli.)

1. “A lot of people insisted on a wall between modern dance and ballet. I’m beginning to think that walls are very unhealthy things.”

2 “Even my family laughed at me because they thought of this young guy who’s always stuttering in front of other people should be in front of 100 musicians and talk to them and leading them.”

3 “An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house.”

4 “I talk to people who are musicians, and they go, Oh this is hell. And I go, Are you kidding me? You never put tar paper on a roof, did ya?”

The Authors (alphabetically)
Maria Callas, opera star
Robert Caro, writer
Lesley Garrett, opera star
John Guare, playwright
Chris Isaak, rock musician
Gyorgy Ligeti, composer
Kurt Masur, conductor
Twyla Tharp, choreographer, dancer

5 “The ballet makes us look at those bodies, it makes us listen to that music, it makes us wonder at the geometry, of the way they come together. The way that extraordinary space is controlled and given such emotional force.”

6 “I write bars for the musicians, because they have to be together. ”

7 “I would just like to say that opera is no longer about fat people in breastplates shattering wine glasses.”

8 “The ballet embodies the notes of music. And sometimes you almost feel like you can see the notes dance up there on the stage.”


And the Answers:

1. Twyla Tharp, choreographer, dancer

2. Kurt Masur, conductor

3. Maria Callas, opera star

4. Chris Isaak, rock musician

5. John Guare, playwright

6. Gyorgy Ligeti, composer

7. Lesley Garrett, opera star

8. Robert Caro, writer

9. The photo is the interior of a piano, sideways. Use your imagination: what else could it be?

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička


  1. Lynne DeMichele
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I got 3 right! Love the quizzes.

  2. Posted May 12, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Glad to hear it! It’s fun to see just how much fun classical music, opera, and ballet can be, isn’t it?

  3. Mary
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I think the photo at the top looks like an early attempt at a simple typewriter.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared.

%d bloggers like this: