Friday, May 27, 2011:Brainteaser!

'Thinkers' test their brain power. Sculpture by Michal Trpák

Brainteaser!

Our Friday Quiz: Fateful Pairs

It’s the last Friday before the last weekend in May, and spring — the traditional season of lovers — is almost over. The most romantic time of the year is about to devolve into the relentlessly hot days of full summer.

Before we move on, let’s pause a minute to consider fateful lovers of some Czech operas. Test your knowledge, or just take your best guess for fun. Who is paired up with whom?

Below you’ll find six operas and their Czech composers, along with one half of the star-crossed lovers. Can you name the other half of the pair?

If you know Czech opera, this quiz is a no-brainer (very easy). But if you’re just starting to get interested in opera, reviewing (or learning) some of the key names can help you feel more at ease when you actually start listening to or attending performances.

Answers are at the bottom of the page. Good luck!

1 Dvořák’s Rusalka – the main pair of lovers consists of Rusalka and … ?

2 Janáček’s Jenufa – it’s Jenufa and … ?

3 Mozart’s Don Giovanni is obviously ‘Don’ and …?

4 Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, also known as Mařenka, and … ?

5 Martinů’s Ariane features the female lead of the same name, and … ?

6 Mysliveček’s Il Bellerofonte — it’s Bellerofonte and …?

Answers:

1 Rusalka and The Prince
2 Jenufa and Steva
3 Don Giovanni and Donna Anna, and Donna Elvira, and possibly Zerlina, and … and … and …
4 Mařenka and Jeník
5 Ariane and Theseus
6 Bellerofonte and Argene

Photo Credits: Mary Matz

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