Grand opera

Grand opera is a genre of 19th-century opera generally in four or five acts, characterized by large-scale casts and orchestras, and (in their original productions) lavish and spectacular design and stage effects, normally with plots based on or around dramatic historic events. The term is particularly applied (sometimes specifically used in its French language equivalent grand opéra, pronounced [ɡʁɑ̃t‿ɔpeʁa]) to certain productions of the Paris Opéra from the late 1820s to around 1850;[1] 'grand opéra' has sometimes been used to denote the Paris Opéra itself.

Degas (1876): Ballet of the Nuns from Meyerbeer's Robert le diable (1831); one of the earliest sensations of grand opera

The term 'grand opera' is also used in a broader application in respect of contemporary or later works of similar monumental proportions from France, Germany, Italy and other countries.[2]

It may also be used colloquially in an imprecise sense to refer to 'serious opera without spoken dialogue'.[3]


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