Opera and Oratorio

Opera

Opera (English plural: operas; Italian plural: opere) is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text (called a libretto) and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting.

opera n 1: a drama set to music; consists of singing with orchestral accompaniment and an orchestral overture and interludes 2: theater where opera is performed [syn: {opera house}]

200 Moby Thesaurus words for "opera": Broadway musical, Elizabethan theater, Globe Theatre, Grand Guignol, Greek theater, Passion play, Singspiel, Tom show, amphitheater, antimasque, arena theater, arrangement, artifact, audience success, auditorium, ballad opera, ballet, ballet divertissement, bomb, brainchild, broadcast drama, burlesque show, cabaret, charade, child, chorus show, circle theater, cliff hanger, closet drama, club, coinage, comedy ballet, comedy drama, comic opera, composition, concert hall, concoction, copy, creation, creature, critical success, crowning achievement, dance drama, daytime serial, dialogue, distillation, documentary drama, draft, drama, dramalogue, dramatic play, dramatic series, duodrama, duologue, edition, effect, end product, epic theater, essence, experimental theater, extract, extravaganza, failure, flop, fruit, gasser, giveaway, grand opera, hall, handiwork, happening, hit, hit show, house, hymnal, hymnbook, improvisational drama, instrumental score, invention, issue, legitimate drama, libretto, light opera, little theater, lute tablature, lyric drama, manufacture, masque, masterpiece, masterwork, melodrama, minstrel, minstrel show, mintage, miracle, miracle play, monodrama, monologue, morality, morality play, music, music drama, music hall, music paper, music roll, musical, musical comedy, musical notation, musical revue, musical score, musical stage, musical theater, mystery, mystery play, new mintage, night spot, nightclub, notation, offspring, opera ballet, opera bouffe, opera buffa, opera house, opera score, operetta, opus, opuscule, orchestral score, origination, outcome, outdoor theater, outgrowth, pageant, panel show, pantomime, part, pastoral, pastoral drama, piano score, piece, play, playhouse, playlet, problem play, product, production, psychodrama, quiz show, radio drama, result, review, revue, score, sensational play, serial, sheet music, short score, show, showboat, sitcom, situation comedy, sketch, skit, soap, soap opera, sociodrama, song-and-dance act, song-play, songbook, songster, spectacle, stage play, stage show, straight drama, success, suspense drama, tablature, tableau, tableau vivant, talk show, teleplay, television drama, television play, text, theater, theater of cruelty, theater-in-the-round, theatron, total theater, transcript, transcription, variety show, vaudeville, vaudeville show, vehicle, version, vocal score, word-of-mouth success, work, written music

Opus \O"pus\, n.; pl. {Opera}. [L. See {Opera}.] A work; specif. (Mus.), a musical composition. [1913 Webster] Note: Each composition, or set of pieces, as the composer may choose, is called an opus, and they are numbered in the order of their issue. (Often abbrev. to op.) [1913 Webster] {Opus incertum}. [L.] (Arch.) See under {Incertum}. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster] 2. The score of a musical drama, either written or in print; a play set to music. [1913 Webster] 3. The house where operas are exhibited. [1913 Webster] {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. [1913 Webster]

OPERA, n. A play representing life in another world, whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures and no postures but attitudes. All acting is simulation, and the word _simulation_ is from _simia_, an ape; but in opera the actor takes for his model _Simia audibilis_ (or _Pithecanthropos stentor_) -- the ape that howls. The actor apes a man -- at least in shape; The opera performer apes and ape.

Oratorio

An oratorio is a large musical composition including an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. Like an opera, an oratorio includes the use of a choir, soloists, an ensemble, various distinguishable characters, and arias.

oratorio n : a musical composition for voices and orchestra based on a religious text [syn: {cantata}]

35 Moby Thesaurus words for "oratorio": Negro spiritual, anthem, cantata, canticle, choral singing, chorale, chorus, church music, doxology, glee, gospel, gospel music, hymn, hymn-tune, hymnody, hymnology, introit, madrigal, madrigaletto, mass, motet, offertory, offertory sentence, paean, passion, prosodion, psalm, psalmody, recessional, requiem, requiem mass, sacred music, spiritual, unison, white spiritual

Oratorio \Or`a*to"ri*o\, n. [It., fr. L. oratorius belonging to praying. See {Orator}, and cf. {Oratory}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Mus.) A more or less dramatic text or poem, founded on some Scripture nerrative, or great divine event, elaborately set to music, in recitative, arias, grand choruses, etc., to be sung with an orchestral accompaniment, but without action, scenery, or costume, although the oratorio grew out of the Mysteries and the Miracle and Passion plays, which were acted. [1913 Webster] Note: There are instances of secular and mythological subjects treated in the form of the oratorios, and called oratorios by their composers; as Haydn's ``Seasons,'' Handel's ``Semele,'' etc. [1913 Webster] 2. Performance or rendering of such a composition. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • opera: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • opera: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • opera: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • opera: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • opera: THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY ((C)1911 Released April 15 1993)
  • oratorio: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • oratorio: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • oratorio: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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