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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Quiz Whiz Kids Wow Metropolitan Opera




NEW YORK (AP) -- The first-ever panel of teenagers at the Metropolitan Opera's quiz surprised listeners with its knowledge.


The quiz is held between acts of the live radio broadcasts of Saturday afternoon operas. After a recording by a tenor, the three panelists were asked who was dying and under what circumstances. "It's Edgardo, at the end of 'Lucia di Lammermoor,'" said Mahan Esfahani, 16. Rachel Speight, 15, explained, "He's going to go to heaven to be with Lucia, his old girlfriend."


To another question, asking in what opera a father asks a daughter to betray her lover, Esfahani mentioned an opera so obscure listeners in the Met Opera's List Hall looked puzzled.


Quiz moderator Martin Bernsheimer said, "He knows more about Handel operas than I do," then added that he was thinking of something Egyptian. It was, of course, "Aida."


Tenor Placido Domingo, whose character, Siegmund, was killed in Act Two of the afternoon's opera, "Die Walk?re," was back in street clothes and greeted the panelists after the second-intermission quiz.


Saturday was the first time since the Texaco Opera Quiz began in 1940 that teenagers have participated.


The live Metropolitan Opera broadcasts are heard on more than 325 radio stations in North America, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and 27 European countries.