The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and The Band of the Coldstream Guards play the Fox Theatre March 10, Czech Opera Prague performs The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe) on March 23, and the St. Petersburg Ballet brings Carmen to Atlanta on April 28. Take the trivia test below and see how much you know about these world-class acts.
- True or false? The Coldstream Regiment is one of the oldest army regiments in the world.
- Which came first: the opera or the ballet version of Carmen ?
- What former European principality is satirized in The Merry Widow ?
- What does the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards motto “Nemo me impune lacessit” mean?
- What professions are Carmen’s lovers in?
- Why are there women’s undergarments called merry widows?
- True. George Monck, a general in Oliver Cromwell’s “New Model Army,” founded the regiment in 1650.
- The ballet. Marius Petipa adapted Prosper Mérimée’s novella for the stage in 1845, 30 years before Bizet’s opera. The music of Bizet, however, will accompany the ballet’s April 28 performance.
- Montenegro . Librettists Victor Léon and Leo Stein weren’t coy: The libretto stated “Pontevedro” meant Montenegro and that its national costume was required. Some characters – Njegus, Danilo and Mirko – had the same names as Montenegro’s royal family and princes. Riots by Montenegran students disrupted shows all over Europe. For this reason, characters’ names were changed for the London and Paris premieres.
- “Nobody touches me with impunity.” On the softer side, they are known for their pipes and drums.
- Don José is a soldier; Escamillo is a bullfighter. In fact, Carmen is murdered while Escamillo is in the bullring.
- Maidenform created a loose corset with an attached half-bra and garters for Lana Turner, the “Merry Widow” in a 1952 film version. She complained, “The merry widow was designed by a man. A woman would never do that to another woman.”
Sources: Wikipedia, Andrew Lamb/josef-weinberger.com