Definition of words we often use



Aria: A song expressing emotion or personal thoughts. This is the most complex part of the opera for a soloist.

Duo: A musical piece sung by two vocal performers.

Trio: A song for three vocal performers.

Quartet : A song for four vocal performers or a group made up of four musicians.

Chorus: A group of singers who perform together.

Ensemble: Different melodies and often different scripts sung by two, three, or four voices at the same time.

Intonation: The precision of a note when singing or playing an instrument.

Libretto: The script of an opera.

Librettist: The writer who adapts the story’s script to match the music.

Legato: An instruction for musicians (it means “bound together” in Italian). Legato is the opposite of Staccato, which indicates a choppier movement.

Score: A booklet containing the notes to be played by the instrumentalists or sung by the singers.

Operetta: A lighter genre of music, combining comedy, songs, and usually dance, developed in the 19th century by Jacques Offenbach in France and Johann Strauss (the son) in Vienna.

Opéra bouffe: A French variety of opera with a comical or light-hearted theme.

Opera buffa: Italian comic opera (dating back to the early the 18th century).

French opéra-comique: Initially a purely comic opera, which later took on a more sentimental dimension with dialogue interspersed with songs. The best example is Bizet’s Carmen.

Recitative: A narrative song that describes the opera’s intrigue.