Definition of opera seria in English:

opera seria


  • An opera (especially one of the 18th century in Italian) on a serious, usually classical or mythological theme.

    • ‘I still fail to grasp how the sight of ancient Cretans dressed as bewigged eighteenth-century courtiers brings us closer to Mozart's noble opera seria, but never mind.’
    • ‘Puccini's Tosca is on Friday and Mozart's opera seria, Idomeneo, is on Saturday.’
    • ‘Two further commissions for Milan followed, the wedding serenata Ascanio in Alba in 1771 and Lucio Silla, a magnificent opera seria, in 1772.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hopefully this short miscellany gives some idea of the personalities and musical strengths of four of these singers; an indication of the varied characters that Handel worked with in his opera seria.’
    • ‘We can presume that when he sang the title role, Savage had a light, lyric baritone; a type of voice that we don't really see in Handel's opera seria.’
    • ‘All this provides a reminder that this is an opera seria, with all its baroque associations.’
    • ‘She repeats the trick in the similarly tempestuous arias Combattuta da due venti, from Faramondo, and the angry central section of Deidamia's M'ai resa infelice, in Handel's last opera seria.’
    • ‘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.’


Italian, literally ‘serious opera’.


opera seria