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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Opera buffa

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.

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

  3. The house where operas are exhibited.

    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.

    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.

Opera buffa

Buffa \Buf"fa\, n. fem. (Mus.) [It. See Buffoon.] The comic actress in an opera. -- a. Comic, farcical.

Aria buffa, a droll or comic air.

Opera buffa, a comic opera. See Opera bouffe.

opera buffa

n. (context music English) A form of Italian comic opera popular in the 18th century

Opera buffa

Opera buffa (; plural: opere buffe; Italian for "comic opera") is a genre of opera. It was first used as an informal description of Italian comic operas variously classified by their authors as commedia in musica, commedia per musica, dramma bernesco, dramma comico, divertimento giocoso.

Especially associated with developments in Naples in the first half of the 18th century, whence its popularity spread to Rome and northern Italy, buffa was at first characterized by everyday settings, local dialects, and simple vocal writing (the basso buffo is the associated voice type), the main requirement being clear diction and facility with patter.

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera considers La Cilla (music by Michelangelo Faggioli, text by F. A. Tullio, 1706) and Luigi and Federico Ricci's'' Crispino e la comare'' (1850) to be the first and last appearances of the genre, although the term is still occasionally applied to newer work (for example Ernst Krenek's Zeitoper Schwergewicht). High points in this history are the 80 or so libretti by Carlindo Grolo, Loran Glodici, Sogol Cardoni and various other approximate anagrams of Carlo Goldoni, the three Mozart/ Da Ponte collaborations, and the comedies of Gioachino Rossini.

Similar foreign genres such as opéra comique or Singspiel differed as well in having spoken dialogue in place of recitativo secco, although one of the most influential examples, Pergolesi's La serva padrona (which is an intermezzo, not opera buffa), sparked the Querelle des bouffons in Paris as an adaptation without sung recitatives.