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comic opera Musico-dramatic work with some spoken dialogue and a light or amusing plot. The term is used indiscriminately and includes musical comedy and operetta. In operatic works, it approximates most closely to early 18th-century Italian opera buffa (notably the operas of Pergolesi), but bears little relation to the French opéra comique.
com·ic op·er·a • n. an opera that portrays humorous situations and characters, enhanced by spoken dialogue. ∎ the genre of such opera.
comic opera. An imprecise term, though by it most people today would understand an opera with a comic element. opéra-bouffe or opera buffa means comic opera but has a specific meaning, as has opéra-comique.
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