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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Opera seria

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.
    --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.

Wiktionary
opera seria

n. Serious or tragic opera; grand opera.

Wikipedia
Opera seria

Opera seria (; plural: opere serie; usually called dramma per musica or melodramma serio) is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and "serious" style of Italian opera that predominated in Europe from the 1710s to c. 1770. The term itself was rarely used at the time and only attained common usage once opera seria was becoming unfashionable and beginning to be viewed as a historical genre. The popular rival to opera seria was opera buffa, the 'comic' opera that took its cue from the improvisatory commedia dell'arte.

Italian opera seria (invariably to Italian libretti) was produced not only in Italy but also in Spain, Habsburg Austria, England, Saxony, German states, and other countries. Opera seria was less popular in France, where the national genre of French opera was preferred. Popular composers of opera seria included Alessandro Scarlatti, Johann Adolf Hasse, Leonardo Vinci, Nicola Porpora, George Frideric Handel, and in the second half of the 18th century Tommaso Traetta, Josef Mysliveček, Gluck, and Mozart.