© 2023
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Any Questions #264

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothangel spend a night at the opera.

Last week's challenge
Start with the words BOTH and NEITHER. Change one letter to an M and you can rearrange the result to spell a seven-letter word for something you might prove in math class, and a four-letter word for what your professor might give you to get started. What are the words?
Answer: If you change the B to an M, you can spell THEOREM and HINT.

On-air questions: On September 16, 1966, the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City officially opened. The building replaced the original Metropolitan Opera House located some 20 blocks southeast, and is famous for having one of the most technologically-advanced stages in the world. When the opera is on hiatus, the Met is home to the American Ballet Theater, and has twice hosted the MTV Video Music Awards. In honor of the Met’s opening, this week our questions are about famous operas.

1. H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado, are among the operas written in the late 19th century by what English duo?
2. Fidelio, an opera in which a woman disguises herself as a prison guard named Fidelio to rescue her husband, premiered in 1814 and is the only opera written by which composer who, six years prior, had the premiere of his famous 5th symphony?
3. In 2013, the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps won the Drum Corps International championship with a program titled “E=MC2”, which incorporated parts of Philip Glass's 1976 opera about who "on the Beach"?
4. The 1896 Puccini opera La bohème has been adapted into pop songs, short stories, and what 1997 Broadway musical about young artists living in New York City that references the opera with songs like "Light My Candle" and "La Vie Bohème"?
5. Speaking of pop song adaptations: the song "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" from The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht was perhaps most famously adapted into what 1959 Bobby Darin number-one hit song?

Extra credit
1. The one-act opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, composed by Gian Carlo Menotti, debuted on December 24, 1951. It was performed from Rockefeller Center in New York City and was the first opera specifically composed for what medium?
2. What unfortunate (for the composer, anyway) thing do Alexander Borodin's Prince Igor, Modest Mussorgsky's The Fair at Sorochyntsi, and Giacomo Puccini's Turandot have in common?

This week's challenge
Start with the phrase OPERA SINGER. Rearrange the letters to spell a two-word phrase (four letters, seven letters) for things you might pick from a tree. What are they?

On-air questions
1. Gilbert and Sullivan
2. Ludwig van Beethoven
3. Einstein
4. Rent
5. "Mack the Knife"

Extra credit
1. Television
2. They were all unfinished at the time of the composer's death


A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
Related Content
  • WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to keep cool by switching seats.Last week's challengeStart with the phrase TRAFFIC SIGNAL.…
  • WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show all about 500.Last week's challengeStart with the term BEARDED COLLIE. Rearrange…
  • WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel chad it up this week.Last week's challengeThink of an eight-letter word starting with M for numbers…
  • WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats to kick off the sixth season.Last week's challengeStart with the phrase LAKE CHAD.…
  • WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try out a new category. Last week's challengeStart with the term BROADWAY PLAY. Rearrange the…