Opera is renowned for its bizarre plots and is packed with many WTF moments. Test your knowledge (and if you don’t have any, don’t worry, just guess), and see if you can figure out which of the three plots in each question are NOT opera plots. Good luck!


  1. a) A disgruntled butler seeks revenge on the family he has served for 30 years through a series of malicious pranks.
    b) A man wakes to find a nose in his morning bread. Meanwhile another man wakes up to find his nose missing and involves the police to help him chase after the nose.
    c) A Water Nymph falls in love with a human. Even with the warnings of her father, a Water Goblin, she pursues this love to a tragic end.NPH.gif
  2. a) The Devil grants youth to an old man, in exchange for his soul after many years of the Devil’s powers. The man falls in love with a woman, who goes mad and kills their baby.
    b) A young werewolf pup struggles between a life lived serving the wolf-pack and a life with the love of his life, a lowly baker’s daughter.
    c) A woman gets tired of her life as a submissive woman and becomes a male, her breasts turning into baloons and floating away. 


  3. a) A queen-gone-mad orders the beheading of every young man in town in the hopes that the man that bedded her daughter will step forward and save the lives of the innocent civilians.
    b) A group of nuns are guillotined after refusing to renounce their vocation.
    c) A dwarf steals a ring, which grants the power to rule the world.

  4. a) A young vixen breaks free from her restraints and kills some chickens. She meets a young fox and has children, only to be shot and killed by a poacher.
    b) A prince is on a quest to find three oranges that he has fallen in love with.
    c) A depressed, sickly old man on his deathbed is greeted by death himself and shown the love and meaning he has brought to so many throughout his life, thinking that he.actc.gif
  5. a) A cigarette factory employee is involved in a domestic violence incident.
    b) Deranged wife encourages husband to murder his way into power. Three witches tell him a prophecy that also encourages this, which eventually leads to his downfall.
    c) A snake charmer travels to Paris and realises that his true passion lies in baking. His entrepreneurship leads him to the invention of the the “bread snake”, the baguette.


  6. a) A bitter sailor embarks on a quest to kill a particular whale, and meets a tragic end.
    b) A young girl with wealthy parents is engaged to a man who doesn’t love her. He breaks her heart on her wedding day, and she pursues a career in law to win his heart back.
    c) A Barber helps young lad to get girl from nasty old stepfather… with some unexpected methods.zoe.gif
  7. a) A young matron of a mental asylum deals with her patients in lieu of dealing with her own mental issues. She falls in love with an older man with Alzheimer’s that recognises her as a former love, but turns out to be her father.
    b) A leading man’s lover married his dad, lady having a crush on him sleeps with his dad, best friend teams with his dad; dad still feels lonely.
    c) A man is mistaken for an otter and is shot.doctor.gif
  8. a) A theatre performer is cast as the lead in a local play. Throughout the rehearsal process he slowly starts to believe the play is a reflection of his own life, and ends up killing his own wife.
    b) A witch, living in a forest, has her house ransacked and eaten by two meddling children. She seeks revenge by trying to cook them.
    c) A shy young man is named May King in reward for his chastity. He uses his prize money on a one night bender and disappears.

    How’d you go? The Answers are below!



  1. a) Lie b) The Nose – Shostakovich c) Rusalka – Dvorak
  2. a) Faust – Gounod b) Lie c) The Breasts of Tiresias – Poulenc
  3. a) Lie b) Dialogues of the Carmelites – Poulenc c) The Ring Cycle – Wagner
  4. a) The Cunning Little Vixen – Janáček b) The Love of Three Oranges – Prokofiev c) Lie
  5. a) Carmen – Bizet b) Macbeth – Verdi c) Lie
  6. a) Moby Dick – Heggie b) Lie c) Barber of Seville – Rossini
  7. a) Lie b) Don Carlos – Verdi  c) Lily of Killarney – Benedict
  8. a) Lie b) Hansel and Gretel – Humperdinck  c) Albert Herring – Britten

    Written by Louis Hurley