North American Opera . . . the answers

I promised answers to yesterday’s quiz today, and here they are. True confessions time: I didn’t have to work very hard identifying them. One reader, John Gilks, came up with most every answer I needed. I was so tickled I told John he earned a prize,* which will soon be speeding toward his home.

  1. Dmitri Hvorostovsky in SF Opera's Simon Bccanegra/Photo by Terrence McCarthy

    Most people can name the largest opera house in North America. What is the second largest?
    John thought it was Sante Fe, but according to my research, it’s  the Civic Opera House in Chicago, with 3,563-seats, home to Lyric Opera of Chicago; whereas the Metropolitan Opera has 3,800 seats and more than 300 spaces for standing room. The second largest company is San Francisco, by their own accounting.

  2. What is North America’s oldest continuously operating summer opera company?
    It’s Chautauqua Opera, in Chautauqua, New York, founded in 1929.
  3. Can you name three of the most popular operas produced in North American in 2009-10?
    According to OPERA America, the most frequently produced operas in the 2009-2010 season were: The Marriage of Figaro, La bohème, Carmen, Tosca, La traviata, Madame Butterfly, The Magic Flute, Hansel and Gretel, The Elixir of Love and Don Giovanni.
  4. Can you name three of the most popular North American operas presented in 2009-10?
    Per OPERA America, the most frequently produced North American operas in the 2009-2010 season were: George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, John Adams’s Nixon in China, Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream, Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers and Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.
  5. To the closest hundred, how many new operatic works have been produced by professional opera companies in North America since 1990.
    This is OPERA America’s stat, and here’s how they answered it: Over 400 new operatic works have been produced by professional opera companies in North America since 1990.
  6. Name five Canadian cities currently producing opera.
    John actually nailed these answer, so here’s what he said: “Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Victoria, Richmond Hill, Kawartha Lakes, Quebec, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Halifax. I’m sure I’m missing some.” (Anyone who reads this blog knows about all the extraordinary opera in Toronto! Or they haven’t been reading “Operatoonity.”)

How I love these audience participation posts! And thanks again, John, for making tonight’s work easier. (I’ll get those nails filed and polished after all.)

*So what did John win? Why, a Manet’s Masked Ball Mouse Pad personalized with the Operatoonity website address.


Filed under Audience participation, North American Opera, quiz

5 responses to “North American Opera . . . the answers

  1. John

    Not being picky or anything but my answer to (1) was Chicago. I was surprised it was that large as most houses seem to be well under 3000 seats. Covent Garden c. 2600, Toronto c.2100, Vienna Staatsoper 1500 seats plus 600 standing and so on.

  2. Indeed you did. I stand corrected. 🙂 And I had no idea that Chicago was that large. Big houses to fill.

  3. John

    It would be interesting to set up some metrics on “company size”. I think I’d start with:

    Number of productions per season
    Number of performances per season
    Total seats sold per season

    Obviously the Met would top out by a country mile on all these indicators but I suspect SF, Chicago and Toronto would be quite close.

    • John

      So, to partially answer my own question:

      SFO – 9 productions, 72 performances plus 2 “Carmen for Families”

      Toronto (COC) – 7 productions, 68 performances plus 1 Ensemble Studio performance

      Chicago – 7 operas plus “Showboat”, 59 opera performances plus 12 of Showboat

      Pretty close really.

      No-one else has more than 6 productions. All figures based on 2011/12.

  4. John

    Mousepad arrived! It’s very nice. Thanks.