“The Greek drama affords us one character which, had Shakespeare studied it in the three great tragedians of that people, and then, preserving Greek manners as ably as he did Roman, written it from his own heart and mind, might have been worthy to succeed the greatest achievement of the stage. The character I mean is Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon, the sister of Orestes.”
That’s an excerpt, as you all surely recognize, from Memoirs of Mrs. Siddons: interspersed with anecdotes of authors and actors. Sad to say, neither Shakespeare nor the Queen of Drury Lane (pictured) ever created an Electra; however, fortunately for posterity, her contemporary Mozart did set this wild and whirling creature to music. And thus we are brought in a roundabout way to yet another of our beloved vocal identification quizzes.
The following sound file—compiled and curated by none other than Our Own DeCaffarrelli—contains snippets of 16 performances of the scena “Oh smania! oh furie!… D’Oreste, d’Ajace” from Idomeneo. Your task will be to identify all 16 singers in the correct order. Make your guesses in the comments section below, and the first commenter to guess all 16 correctly, or, failing that, the commenter with the highest number of correct identifications as of midnight on Monday, July 23 will win a coveted Amazon.com Gift Card.
Here’s the clip, cher public, and off you go!