Sunday, July 10, 2011

Opera or Musical

Youngest Daughter and I have a running (lighthearted) argument about whether Rogers and Hammerstein wrote operas. She claims they are not, and now she has the weight of a New York Times writer behind her, claiming that musicals are focused on the lyric and operas on the music. You would never bother to listen to "Anything Goes" if you didn't speak the language, but would happily listen to opera in Italian even if you only knew the word "ravioli."

Anthony Thomson is partly correct, but I wonder how he would classify Gilbert and Sullivan? Wild guess: "Despite tradition, it isn't real opera ™".


Assistant Village Idiot said...

A: Have you ever been to Spain?

B: Well, I've been to Madrid.

A: Oh, you haven't been to Spain.

If you let people go long enough, they'll tell you that German Opera isn't opera either.

Most performing groups use the term "light opera." Everyone knows exactly what they mean.

james said...

The local G&S group's productions have been a regular summer feature for us for years, and several members of the family have performed.

Considering musicals and operas as points on a continuum is a useful exercise in getting beyond simple categorizing, and so the argument will probably continue.