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Flower Songs: A Springtime Opera Puzzler

Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili sings amid a massive field of poppies in a Metropolitan Opera production of Borodin's <em>Prince Igor</em>.
Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili sings amid a massive field of poppies in a Metropolitan Opera production of Borodin's <em>Prince Igor</em>.

Spring finally seems to have arrived with an abundance of flowers. In the old poem, it's April showers that bring May flowers. But in opera, flowers pop up for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are pretty. While operatic flowers can be enjoyed for their beauty, their allure can also spell trouble. This springtime fleurs de l'opéra puzzler includes some lovely blossoms you might not want to sniff. Score high and come out smelling like a rose. Score low and feel yourself wilt with inadequacy.

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