views updated May 29 2018

Singspiel (Ger.). Song-play. Type of opera, Ger. equivalent of dramma per musica, which developed c.1700, term orig. being applied to all operas. From c.1750, Singspiel implied an opera with spoken dialogue, comparable to Eng. ballad-opera and Fr. opéra-comique, e.g. those by Hiller and Benda. Zenith was reached with Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, 1782 and Die Zauberflöte, 1791. Beethoven's Fidelio is technically a Singspiel, but term generally implies a comic or light subject.