rescue opera

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rescue opera. Type of opera, or opéra-comique, popular in Fr. after the Revolution, in which the hero or heroine is saved from some dire fate by human heroism. The most famous rescue opera is Beethoven's Fidelio (1805), based on a real-life incident previously used as libretto by Gaveaux in 1798 (Léonore, ou l'amour conjugal).