What defines Operetta?

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Postby bignaf » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:33 pm

piqaboo wrote:
Same thing with operetta. If operetta is essentially a synonym for singspiel or comic opera, no, it is not a synonym for comic operathen there is no reason not to apply it retroactively.
So opera/operetta seems more like a cheatsheet to know whether you will get a happy ending or not. no

operetta, as an inclusive term to describe non-opera musical theatre, has spoken dialogue; opera doesn't. within the inclusive term, you can than differentiate between operetta per se (French/Viennese) and singspiele, musicals, etc. (vaudeville probably cannot be included in the term operetta in the first place).
that's why the original Carmen was called Opera Comique, because it had spoken dialogue.
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Postby OperaTenor » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:46 am

Hmm, no mention of opera buffo.


Yet....



PS. Shouldn't this thread be in "Musical Notes"?
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:55 am

bignaf wrote:
Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:Resorting to my dictionary, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, we have:

Grand Opera - 1. A serious or tragic opera for which the entire text is set to music.

Comic Opera - An opera or operetta with a humorous plot, generally spoken dialogue, and usually a happy ending.

wrong.

Gotta admire a man who'll confidently contradict a dictionary. :roll: Probably a good thing this thread is in the "Debate Team" forum.

I passed by a mention of "opera buffo" somewhere. It is apparently related to grand opera as farce is related to drama?

As a vaguely related aside, Elder Daughter tells me there's a community theater production of "Camelot" coming around in July. There's a bunch of SCA guys been roped into this and they arrive at rehearsals with their own armor and swords. :cool: They're teaching the rest of the cast, including my grandson, swordfighting. Thankfully, with sticks rather than live steel. :whew: I hope somebody is explaining to the junior cast members that grammas are not legal sword targets.

When asked, she just said of Camelot "It's a musical."
>^..^<
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Postby jamiebk » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:20 am

Grand Opera - 1. A serious or tragic opera for which the entire text is set to music.

Comic Opera - An opera or operetta with a humorous plot, generally spoken dialogue, and usually a happy ending.

Soap Opera - 1. A drama, typically performed as a serial on daytime television or radio, characterized by stock characters and situations, sentimentality, and melodrama.

Horse Opera - A film or other theatrical work about the American West

Light Opera - see operetta

Operetta - Also called light opera. Italian, diminutive of opera, opera.

Singspiel - German musical comedy featuring songs and ensembles interspersed with dialogue.


Selma in S/D...you left out "Rock Opera". The Who..."Tommy". JC Superstar, Hair and others
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:21 am

jamiebk wrote:Selma in S/D...you left out "Rock Opera". The Who..."Tommy". JC Superstar, Hair and others


You're quite right. I did. Opera buffo and Rock Opera need decent definitions. Volunteers? :wink: :twisted:
>^..^<
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Postby OperaTenor » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:57 am

When it comes to things of a musically technical nature, I'll take *ig's word over Wikipedia any day of the week.
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:09 am

In there list comic opera seems to fill the place of buffo. that's why the description is wrong. because buffo has recit. the term comic opera can't cover anything else that is not elsewhere on their list. also if they're breking up the opera terms, grand opera should be much less inclusive. it should be limited to Grand Opera, such as William tell, La Juive, L'Africcaine, Aida, The trojans... long operas, with big crown scenes, taking place in some historical location. the dictionary article is a hack job. and they got paid for it?!?! New Grove would be much more authoritarion (though it would be way too long for inclusion here). I think webster is typically better than American Heritage.
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:12 am

OperaTenor wrote:When it comes to things of a musically technical nature, I'll take *ig's word over Wikipedia any day of the week.

thanks. Wikipedia definitely knows more than me about these matters, but it has much more mistakes than I'm ever likely to utter. i should go and fix some of them some day...
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Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:44 am

operetta, as an inclusive term to describe non-opera musical theatre, has spoken dialogue; opera doesn't. within the inclusive term, you can than differentiate between operetta per se (French/Viennese) and singspiele, musicals, etc. (vaudeville probably cannot be included in the term operetta in the first place).


I was of the impression that some opera contains spoken word. I'm no authority, but it seems like some works by Leoncavallo contain spoken word, albeit with musical accompanyment. I believe it is in Guonod's Faust that Mephistophole's addresses the audience, as he does in the play as originally written by Goethe.

V/R
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:51 am

Shapley wrote:
operetta, as an inclusive term to describe non-opera musical theatre, has spoken dialogue; opera doesn't. within the inclusive term, you can than differentiate between operetta per se (French/Viennese) and singspiele, musicals, etc. (vaudeville probably cannot be included in the term operetta in the first place).


I was of the impression that some opera contains spoken word. I'm no authority, but it seems like some works by Leoncavallo contain spoken word, albeit with musical accompanyment. I believe it is in Guonod's Faust that Mephistophole's addresses the audience, as he does in the play as originally written by Goethe.

V/R
Shapley

you're right, but those are special musical effects. those are effect using speech as a chilling musical contrast. operetta (and its relatives) contain speech as a means of getting to the next song.
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Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:07 pm

Thanks, I can see the distinction between the two, although I did not get it from the definitions limiting 'spoken dialogue' to other musical forms than opera.

V/R
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:17 pm

Well I could do a whole list of "whereas"es, and produce a legal document with the exact definition. :D but I won't. :)
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Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:21 pm

Awww! Go ahead. It'll be a fun read.... :D
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:29 pm

did you notice the average length of my posts?! :) I'm lazy.
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Postby Catmando » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:31 pm

That would be another great statistic if bbb could keep track of:

Number of words per post average.

Tan would grab it hands down. :P
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Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:09 pm

bignaf wrote: I think webster is typically better than American Heritage.

Which Webster? The name is in the public domain now. Anyone can call their dictionary Webster's.
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:11 pm

I guess it probably wouldn't be uniformly good.
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Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:27 pm

I guess it would be Merriam-Webster's. I believe that is who publishes the original Webster's Dictionary.
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:59 pm

thanks, Shap, that's what I have.
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Postby DavidS » Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:18 am

I just got round to reading this thread - great.
My penn'orth: Tastes change over time; what was funny 200 years ago may be unfunny today, and the converse.
I mean The Magic Flute is great fun and beautiful music, but I don't shtik myself laughing when I hear or see it - though I do with Guilbert & Sullivan, Offenbach, and Fledermaus.
I love Gounod's Faust, Sampson & Delilah, and Carmen but don't get excited over the plot or characters - just the music.
And I weep when I hear or see Boheme, and bits of Orpheus & Euridice...
My point is that the definitions are fair enough technically, but do not necessarily reflect the emotional reaction of the hearer.
One day I'll list all the oper(ett)as I know and why I like them...
BTW: Could Nicole's non-acceptance of requests for Guilbert & Sullivan have something to do with the Doyley-Carter IPR still in force?
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