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So some of you who have been here for a long time might remember that mamascarlatti and amfortas have done three installments of the 30-Day opera challenge. I have decided to do a fourth installment. So, without further adieu, the opera challenge info:
There are 30 questions, one for each day starting today. Please answer as many questions as you can over the course of the 30 days. If you start after the first day, do not start from the beginning of the list. Instead, please start with the question for that day. Pictures and videos can be posted as part of your responses.

And now... The OFFICIAL question list!
TC THIRTY DAY OPERA CHALLENGE, ROUND FOUR

1. Best opening scene.
2. Aria you think is scary.
3. Best purely instrumental moment (aside from overtures/preludes).
4. Smartest opera character.
5. Classic movie that should be made into an opera.
6. Favorite opera director.
7. Opera that best illustrates Murphy's Law (whatever can go wrong, will go wrong).
8. Best seduction scene.
9. Opera composer most likely to win in a bar fight.
10. Best suicide.
11. Opera house you've visited most.
12. Best a cappella moment.
13. Superhero who would make the best subject for an opera.
14. Opera with the best music (forgetting the libretto).
15. Which opera role would you most like to play?
16. Best magical/supernatural moment.
17. Two characters from different operas who were made for each other.
18. Best unfinished opera.
19. Role you wish a favorite singer would attempt. (Please include the favorite singer.)
20. Best use of opera in pop culture.
21. Dumbest opera character.
22. Opera with the hardest stage effect to bring off successfully. (Please specify the stage effect.)
23. Which opera has been best represented in DVD productions?
24. Best moment of complete silence.
25. Italian, French, German, Eastern European (Russian, Czech, and Hungarian), or English opera?
26. Best opera curse.
27. Current event that should be made into an opera.
28. Funniest moment in an opera.
29. Career advice you would give to one particular singer.
30. Most disappointing opera ending.
 

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Best opening scene:

Nozze di Figaro. In two beautiful and involving duets the two main characters, the setting (the marriage preparations of Susanna and Figaro) and the problem at the heart of the plot (the Count's agenda) are introduced in an incredibly natural way.

N.
 

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When I thought about this I realised I couldn't recall the opening bars of most operas, even some of my favourites. But there is one that stands out for its tremendous orchestral blast in the opening notes. The drama of a ship trying to make harbour in a storm played out by the orchestra and chorus and then.... Esultate! I'm drained just thinking about it.

Best opening scene: Otello
 

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Best opening scene: I'd have to say La Forza Del Destino. Who in their right mind drops a loaded gun to the floor. Only in opera :)
 

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When I thought about this I realised I couldn't recall the opening bars of most operas, even some of my favourites. But there is one that stands out for its tremendous orchestral blast in the opening notes. The drama of a ship trying to make harbour in a storm played out by the orchestra and chorus and then.... Esultate! I'm drained just thinking about it.

Best opening scene: Otello
Darn, wished I'd thought of that before Figaro...

N.
 

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Don Giovanni.

Leporello's wonderful entrance aria followed by a rape and a murder -- all in less than six minutes!

And all set to the most sublime music...
 

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Haydn, Mozart, Vivaldi, Wagner, Brahms, Schumann
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Walkure Act 3...................
Nothing compares to Wagner.
The most exciting and well known opening of all.
 

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Haydn, Mozart, Vivaldi, Wagner, Brahms, Schumann
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Das Rheingold
Most revolutionary opening ever.
Nothing tops Wagner
 

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This will be a weird response but, best opening scene: the plane landing in Nixon in China. The chorus, the anticipation of whatever bombastic and showy stage manner in which the plane will "land," and Nixon's first aria. It's such a "meta-opening," so full of itself, and in that way, so very operatic.

 

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I would have to go with the opening scene of Das Rheingold, in which Alberich the dwarf steals the gold from the Rhinemaidens. This scene sets in motion the greatest drama, perhaps, in all of opera. The opening four minutes contain the seed that gives birth to virtually every motif that you hear throughout the duration of the 15-hour cycle. It is impossible for me to imagine a more effective and dramatic musical beginning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Iuf1NOAWvug#t=28
 

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I would have to go with the opening scene of Das Rheingold, in which Alberich the dwarf steals the gold from the Rhinemaidens. This scene sets in motion the greatest drama, perhaps, in all of opera. The opening four minutes contain the seed that gives birth to virtually every motif that you hear throughout the duration of the 15-hour cycle. It is impossible for me to imagine a more effective and dramatic musical beginning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Iuf1NOAWvug#t=28
You beat me to the punch, Celloman. There's magic down there in the depths of the Urwasser. I'll never forget the thrill of hearing that low Eb in the opera house. It came from everywhere and nowhere. Pace Anna Russell, it was nothing like the Hudson or the Thames.
 

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While I can strongly agree with Das Rheingold, Die Meistersinger & Otello, perhaps the greatest opening of any opera is the 'sneeze' in Kodaly's Hary Janos!
Perhaps that's Kodaly's way of encouraging the audience to get it's upper respiratory business over with quickly so that the evening's entertainment can proceed.
 
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