In Italy, Verdi and Puccini are the great representatives of Italian opera. In Germany, it’s Wagner and Strauss. In France? It’s hard to argue against anyone but Massenet.
But what’s curious about the great composer’s output is that while he was rather bounteous in his creation, only a handful of operas actually became major staples. “Manon,” “Werther,” “Thaïs.” You could make arguments for “Don Quichotte” and even “Le Cid” or “Hérodiade,” but the truth is, those are rarities in the opera hall. And the same goes for over a dozen other works from France’s greatest opera composer. So in celebration of his birthday on May 12, here is a little quiz dedicated to asking you – Which Massenet Opera is it?
The emphasis is on narrative. We provide a hint about the plot and four choices. You pick which one best applies. You’ll be surprised about a lot of these works.
As always, enjoy!