Opera

Opera Op"er*a ([o^]p"[~e]r*[.a]), n. [It., fr. opera work, composition, opposed to an improvisation, fr. L. opera pains, work, fr. opus, operis, work, labor: cf. F. op['e]ra. See {Operate}.] 1. A drama, either tragic or comic, of which music forms an essential part; a drama wholly or mostly sung, consisting of recitative, arias, choruses, duets, trios, etc., with orchestral accompaniment, preludes, and interludes, together with appropriate costumes, scenery, and action; a lyric drama. [1913 Webster]

2. The score of a musical drama, either written or in print; a play set to music. [1913 Webster]

3. The house where operas are exhibited. [1913 Webster]

{Op['e]ra bouffe} [F. op['e]ra opera + bouffe comic, It. buffo], {Opera buffa} [It.], light, farcical, burlesque opera.

{Opera box}, a partially inclosed portion of the auditorium of an opera house for the use of a small private party.

{Op['e]ra comique} [F.], comic or humorous opera.

{Opera flannel}, a light flannel, highly finished. --Knight.

{Opera girl} or {Opera girls} (Bot.), an East Indian plant ({Mantisia saltatoria}) of the Ginger family, sometimes seen in hothouses. It has curious flowers which have some resemblance to a ballet dancer, whence the popular name. Called also {dancing girls}.

{Opera glass}, a short telescope with concave eye lenses of low power, usually made double, that is, with a tube and set of glasses for each eye; a lorgnette; -- so called because adapted for use at the opera, theater, etc.

{Opera hat}, a gentleman's folding hat.

{Opera house}, specifically, a theater devoted to the performance of operas.

{Opera seria} [It.], serious or tragic opera; grand opera. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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