Ethel Smyth was a major figure of her time.
By the time she was 75 in 1934, she was honored with a festival of her music. During the final performance, at Albert Hall, she watched as Sir Thomas Beecham, one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, led her Mass before an enthused public. She was also a renowned Suffragette.
Nearly 90 years later, Smyth’s name is less known in the classical music world. And in the opera world, she remained known for being the only woman (until very recently) to have an opera she composed performed at the Metropolitan Opera.
While many at that time seemed intent on diminishing her work, Smyth composed six operas and several other vocal works, including “The Prison,” a cantata with some recent history (a hint for the quiz by the way).
So as we continue to celebrate Woman’s History Month, this week’s quiz will take stock of her operatic output, presenting you with a statement on a work and then asking you to pick which one it refers to.
As always, enjoy!