Opera is a type of theatre that brings together drama, music, and singing. Opera started in Italy in the late 1500s. Many operas are sung in French, Italian, or German. Some operas are serious and tragic, others are funny and comedic.
Opera includes the elements of theatre such as scenery, costumes, and acting. The story is often told through singing. Singing is done by soloists, in duets, trios, ensembles, and choruses. Opera features voices that can be identified by vocal ranges, such as soprano (the highest female voice), alto (the lowest female voice), tenor (the highest male voice), and bass (the lowest male voice).
Some important terms in opera are:
libretto—the words of the opera
recitative—the spoken dialogue that leads up to a song
aria—a formal song in which characters express their emotions