Difference between Musical and Opera

Key Difference: Musicals theatres, which are simply referred to as musicals, are a style of theatre in which a story is narrated using dialogs, acting, songs and dances. Operas are an art form in which musicians and singers combine text (libretto) and a musical score in order to narrate a tale in a theatrical setting.

Different forms of Musicals and Operas have been in existence since ancient times. The idea of narrating a story using music, poem, text and or acting have been around since civilization has existed. Musicals and operas are two different types of art forms. Though, in modern times, the lines between musicals and operas are being blurred, they are two distinct art forms.

Musicals theatres, which are simply referred to as musicals, are a style of theatre in which a story is narrated using dialogs, acting, songs and dances. While traditional musicals are referred to as plays performed on stage, modern musicals also include movies and television shows which incorporate all four to narrate a story. A musical focuses primarily on dialogs and acting in order to tell a story, using songs and dances to support the story and convey feelings. Sometimes, musicals can also include songs throughout the storyline. A performer in a musical is considered first as an actor and then as a singer and dancer.

Musicals are also adaptable in language; meaning depending on the country that they will be performed in the language of the play is altered, such as plays that will be played in America will be performed in English, while plays in Italy will be in Italian, though the play could originally be written in German. The songs, music and dances in a musical are based on popular music, popular dance styles, and contemporary dialogues. An actor that is equally accomplished in acting, singing and dancing is considered as ‘triple threat’.

Operas are an art form in which musicians and singers combine text (libretto) and a musical score in order to narrate a tale in a theatrical setting. Opera also combines many elements of spoken theatre such as acting, scenery and costumes. Operas can also use dialogs and dances in order to convey the story. Unlike musicals which can also come in form of movies and television, operas are always performed in front of a live audience in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or a smaller musical ensemble.

The main focus in an opera is on the singing, A performer is primarily a singer first and then an actor or dancer. Most commonly, operas use singing and acting, while very few exceptions require dancing and using of dialogs. Singers in operas are trained classical singers. Operas are also sung in the language that they were originally written in and are not altered according to the countries they are performed in. There are various types of operas, such as the Italian opera, German–language opera, Russian opera, French opera, and English–language opera.

Some works by George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, have been named as both, musical as well as operatic production. In some stories or styles, both production styles are important and are incorporated in order to convey the story.

 

Musical

Opera

Definition

Musicals are a form of theatre that involves telling a story using dialogs, songs, dance and acting

Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians tell a story using text (libretto) and a musical score

History

Musical theatres date back to the ancient Greek theatres where music and dance was included in stage comedies and tragedies during the 5th century BCE.

‘Dafne’ by Jacopo Peri penned in 1597 is considered as the first opera written. It was written in an attempt to revive the classical Greek drama, part of the Renaissance

Origin

Greek theatres

The word ‘opera’ means work in Italian

Focus

Acting, dialogs and singing

Singing

Language

It can be adapted to different languages

It is usually sung in the language that it was written in

Types

Theatre, Movies

Italian opera, German-language opera, French opera, English-language opera, Russian opera, etc

Image Courtesy: bsc.edu, tourismplacesworld.blogspot.com

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