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Ladies in the dark

And now, cher public, the vocal identification quiz in excelsis, Leonora’s great Act IV scena from Il trovatore, as sung by 25 sopranos (and five tenors). And the winner of the contest will enjoy a most sumptuous prize package.

For this fiendishly difficult quiz prepared by Our Own DeCaffarrelli, your task is to identify as many Leonoras (and Manricos) as possible, in the correct order, in the comments section.

Please note that selections 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16, comprising the “Miserere” each include a Leonora and a Manrico, both of whom should be identified. (For example, you might answer “11. Rosa Ponselle and Andrea Bocelli“.) Thus the highest possible score on this quiz will be 30 correct names.

Whoever identifies all 30 correctly first will win the contest; if the competition time elapses without any perfect entries, whoever gets the highest number of correct answers will win. In case of a tie, the earlier entry will be declared winner. All decisions will be made by La Cieca, which I don’t think I need to tell you implies finality.

Now, what does one win, besides eternal fame and glory? Well, our good friends at Opera Depot are contributing a brand new 16GB iPod Touch and a gift certificate for downloads of 20 complete operas to help fill it!

La Cieca will keep this competition open for 10 days, finishing on August 14 at midnight, and at that point, whichever commenter has identified correctly (and in the correct order, of course) the highest number of Leonore and Manrici will win!

Now, cher public, start listening!

Track

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0:22

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1:06

4

1:46

5

2:20

6

2:44

7

3:17

8

4:06

9

4:38

10

5:25

11

6:25

12

7:19

13

8:14

14

8:32

15

9:08

16

9:45

17

10:21

18

10:45

19

11:02

20

11:24

21

11:59

22

12:34

23

13:11

24

13:42

25

14:16

60 comments

  • Giasone says:

    My feeble attempt:

    1 Callas
    2 Varady
    3 ?

    4 Millo
    5 Steber
    6 Antonietta Stella
    7 Cerquetti
    8 Sills
    9 Meade

    10 Resnik
    11 Stella Roman -- Bjoerling
    12 Netrebko -- Kaufmann
    13 Milanov
    14 Parazzini -- Bergonzi
    15 Sutherland -- Bonisolli
    16 L. Price -- Pavarotti

    17 Scotto
    18 Arroyo
    19 Tomowa Sintow
    20 Radvanovsky
    21 Giannattasio
    22 Poplavskaya
    23 Mancini
    24 Anderson
    25 ?

  • Giasone says:

    Slowly amending my entry (only had time to review the Miserere), and desperately trying to keep my OCD in check knowing some of my answers are incorrect!

    1 Callas
    2 Varady
    3 ?

    4 Millo
    5 Steber
    6 Antonietta Stella
    7 Cerquetti
    8 Sills
    9 Meade

    10 Varnay
    11 Stella Roman -- Bjoerling
    12 Netrebko -- Kaufmann
    13 Milanov
    14 Tucci -- Bergonzi
    15 Sutherland -- Bonisolli
    16 L. Price -- Pavarotti

    17 Scotto
    18 Arroyo
    19 Tomowa Sintow
    20 Radvanovsky
    21 Giannattasio
    22 Poplavskaya
    23 Mancini
    24 Anderson
    25 ?

    Many thanks, carissima Cieca, for portraying one of my better angles while I cross the Aegean!

  • armerjacquino says:

    If Resnik is in there, it’s kind of a macabre coincidence, after Lear left us between the publication and the results of the VLL quiz.

  • aulus agerius says:

    According to Wikipedia Sills never performed Leonora. Sure sounds like her though. I suppose this could be from a ‘live’ performance of the aria in a recital sometime.

  • Trubadur says:

    I’ll give it a shot (a lot of educated guesses, though)
    1 Callas
    2 Varady
    3 Curtis Verna
    4 Millo
    5 Brouwenstijn
    6 Stella
    7 Cerquetti
    8 Sass
    9 Meade
    10 Varnay
    11 Roman – Bjorling
    12 Kaufmann/Netrebko
    13 Milanov
    14 Amara/Bergonzi
    15 Sutherland/Bonisolli
    16 L. Price/Pavarotti
    17 Scotto
    18 Arroyo
    19 Tomowa-Sintow
    20 Radvanovsky
    21 Giannattasio
    22 Poplavskaya
    23 Deutekom
    24 Anderson
    25 Aliberti

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    Ok here are mine:

    1. Maria Meneghini Callas
    2. Varady
    3. Tebaldi
    4. Millo
    5. Steber
    6. Toni Star as Mrs. Claggart would say (Stella)
    7. Cerquetti
    8. Sills?
    9. Meade
    10. Varnay
    11. Greco Bjoerling
    12. Netrebko Kaufmann
    13. Milanov
    14. Tucci Bergonzi
    15. Sutherland Bonisolli
    16. L. Price Bergonzi
    17. Scotto
    18. Arroyo
    19. Tomowa-Sintow
    20. Zylis-Gara
    21. Giannattasio?
    22. Poptarts (Poplavskaja horrible)
    23. Mancini
    24. Anderson
    25. Sass

    some are only guesses and I was a bit hesitant to post this and hope I will not be laughed at.

  • Giasone says:

    Here’s my final entry:

    1 Callas
    2 Varady
    3 Curtis Verna

    4 Millo
    5 Brouwenstijn
    6 Antonietta Stella
    7 Cerquetti
    8 Sass (difficult to find live, was almost ready to put down Kermes!)
    9 Meade

    10 Varnay
    11 Stella Roman -- Bjoerling
    12 Netrebko -- Kaufmann
    13 Milanov
    14 Tucci -- Bergonzi
    15 Sutherland -- Bonisolli
    16 L. Price -- Pavarotti

    17 Scotto
    18 Arroyo
    19 Tomowa Sintow
    20 Radvanovsky
    21 Giannattasio
    22 Poplavskaya
    23 Stoyanova
    24 Anderson
    25 Aliberti

  • Trubadur says:

    Giasone, bravo -- #23 is definitely Stoyanova, not Deutekom. But I’m still pretty sure #14 is not Tucci, an Italian singer would not pronounce fian as “fyan” and cadavere with a covered “e”. So my best guess is Amara, although I don’t have the recording. #8 is Sass for sure -- I’m still not sure about #3 (could be Parutto, Ligabue, even Dimitrova) and #21, but this is my final guess:

    1 Callas
    2 Varady
    3 Curtis Verna
    4 Millo
    5 Brouwenstijn
    6 Stella
    7 Cerquetti
    8 Sass
    9 Meade
    10 Varnay
    11 Roman – Bjorling
    12 Kaufmann/Netrebko
    13 Milanov
    14 Amara/Bergonzi
    15 Sutherland/Bonisolli
    16 L. Price/Pavarotti
    17 Scotto
    18 Arroyo
    19 Tomowa-Sintow
    20 Radvanovsky
    21 Giannattasio
    22 Poplavskaya
    23 Stoyanova
    24 Anderson
    25 Aliberti