A style of theater/drama in which the characters sing all or most of their lines.
The story is usually simpler than that of movie plots, since it takes longer to sing than to speak. The stories, perhaps melodramatic to our modern eyes, are as varied as movies; from lighthearted, romantic prances ("The Marriage of Figaro", "The Elixer of Love"); heartbreaking romantic tragedies ("La Boheme". "Madame Butterfly", "Aïda"); and some almost x-rated shockers ("Elektra"(much like the Mendez brothers case), "Salome"). Operas are often quite true to life and often deal with some of the most difficult choices that a person can make; matters of life and death, in other words. ...Of course, the plot is much more dramatic than in reality.
Opera relies on voice types (unlike movies, which rely on appearance):
Soprano: highest female voice; plays the heroine, the sweetheart, the victim woman.
Mezzo-soprano: medium female voice; plays the villainess, seductresses.
Contralto: lowest female voice; very rare, usually limited to maids, mothers, grandmothers, and witches.
Tenor: highest male voice: plays the hero, the lover, the doomed hero. Usually romances the soprano.
Baritone: medium male voice; plays the villain, evil prison wardens, and other mean ones.
Bass: lowest male voice; plays priests, kings, fathers, and the Devil.
Opera houses are theaters designed especially for opera... and don't be surprised to find a (rather sexy) tuxedo-clad ghost wandering the dark recesses of the opera house, living his life away on a lake beneath the theater.
Opera is a grim world; there's competition all over for parts... and not to mention some rather unusual situations: tantrums and refusals to do something that the director wants to be staged.
What's the difference between a soprano and a terrorist?
-You can negotiate with a terrorist.;)
"He's here! The Phantom of the Opera!"
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