Ballad Opera

Ballad Opera

The term ballad opera is used to refer to a genre of English stage entertainment originating in the 18th century and continuing to develop in the following century and later … its distinguishing characteristic is the use of tunes in a popular style (either pre-existing or newly composed) with spoken dialogue. These English plays were ‘operas’ mainly…

Burlesque

Burlesque

Burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which, in turn, is derived from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery. Burlesque overlaps in meaning with…

Burletta

Burletta

A burletta (Italian, meaning “little joke”), also sometimes burla or burlettina, is a musical term generally denoting a brief comic Italian (or, later, English) opera. The term was used in the 18th century to denote the comic intermezzos between the acts of an opera seria, but was sometimes given to more extended works; Pergolesi’s La…

Comedy

Comedy

A comedy is any sort of performance intended to cause laughter or the emotions associated with laughter. For ancient Greeks and Romans a comedy was a stage-play with a happy ending. In the Middle Ages, the term expanded to include narrative poems with happy endings and a lighter tone. In this sense Dante used the…