Definition of opera seria in English:

opera seria

Syllabification: o·pe·ra se·ri·a
Pronunciation: /ˈäp(ə)rə ˈsi(ə)rēə, ˈōpeˌrä ˈserēˌä


  • 1An opera, typically one of the 18th century in Italian, on a serious, usually classical or mythological theme.
    More example sentences
    • Silla, the opera seria here recorded, was one of the earliest Handel created after settling in London, though oddly enough the circumstances of its first performance are obscure.
    • Convention prevented a bass like Montagnana from playing a heroic role in an opera seria, which only goes to show how remarkable William Savage's presence in Imeneo really was.
    • Two further commissions for Milan followed, the wedding serenata Ascanio in Alba in 1771 and Lucio Silla, a magnificent opera seria, in 1772.
  • 1.1Opera seria as a genre.
    More example sentences
    • The music of oratorios and passions, concerned with religious themes and unsupported by the panoply of court theatre and scenery, appealed much more directly to the emotions than opera seria.
    • Up to then opera seria was a series of set pieces which teed-up everything for the big solo arias.
    • In sweeping tableaux, Bellotto oscillates between these schemes, much as if he were a maestro, here of opera seria, there of buffa.


Italian, literally 'serious opera'.

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