Opera Quiz: How Are Politics & Leaders Portrayed in Opera?

By David Salazar

With an election coming upon the U.S. and the world in general focusing on their nations’ leaders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we turn to a topic that we believe is at the core of opera: politics.

On a very personal note, it’s been rather surprising to hear many comments about how opera and politics should not be “mixed together.” Many have openly expressed that the mere mention of political ideas on a page about opera is in any way controversial. Of course, no one wants to be told how to think or who to vote for, but to ignore the very essence of opera, a political artform not only in terms of its subject matter, but in terms of its evolution in terms of social position and perception, IS political. In fact, one of the reasons opera remains at the forefront of our world is because the artform has and continues to tell relevant stories about social and political issues we are still dealing with to this day.

And so for this week’s quiz, we take a look at how opera has portrayed political issues or leaders. Be aware that this is but a mere bite-size of what is really out there and I personally encourage all of you to explore the repertory, both past and present to get a true glimpse of how politics and opera are forever linked.

As always enjoy!



Opera Quiz