Final Jeopardy: Modern Opera

Today’s Final Jeopardy question (10/3/2012) in the category “Modern Opera” was:

This opera begins with Air Force One landing at Beijing.

Sara Lehmann was quite the dynamo on Jeopardy! yesterday, winning with a runaway $24,800. We’re sure you want to see if she leaves the competition in the dust today, too. The challengers today are: Erik Dresner, from Elmhurst, NY and  Michelle Princi, from Silver Springs, MD. Here’s a hint: Don’t let her get all the Double Jeopardies!

Sara found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “19th Century” under the very last clue. She was in the lead with $6,000, $1,400 more than Eric, who just moved up to second place by getting $2K credit on a prior answer. Sara continued her confident betting by making this a true Daily Double, and she was RIGHT.

A 20th century Italian dictator was named for this 1860s President of Mexico. show

Sara finished in the lead with $12,000. Erik was second with $4,600 and Michelle was last with $4,000.

Erik found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “13-Letter Words.” He’d done a valiant job of closing the gap between him and Sara. He was in second place with $11,800, $5,000 less than she had. He bet $3,200 and he was RIGHT.

The process of treating rubber with sulfur and heat to improve its elasticity & strength. show

Michelle found the last Daily Double in “Archipelagos.” She was in last place with $7,200, $8,800 less than Sara in first place. She bet $4,000, and she was RIGHT.

Rising to only 206 feet, Mount Alvernia on Cat Island is the highest point in this nation off Florida’s SE coast. show

Sara finished in the lead with $17,600 but it was no runaway today. Erik was in second place with $12,200 and Michelle was in third place with $11,200.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


Nixon in China is an opera in three acts by John Adams, with a libretto by Alice Goodman. It was Adams’ first opera, inspired by the 1972 visit to China by President Nixon, and premiered at the Houston Grand Opera on October 22, 1987. The New York Times gave it a ho-hum review but didn’t blame it on the performers, saying they “performed nobly.” (NY Times Review)

Michelle wrote down “Miss Saigon,” the Schönberg and Boublil musical that is based upon Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly.” That cost her $10,000 and she was left with $2,000.

Erik got it right and wagered $10,201. He finished with $22,401.

Sara did not venture a guess and lost $5,600. She landed in second place with $12,000.

Kudos to Erik on his knowledge of Modern Opera and taking down the tough competition. Great game!

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