Definition of number opera in English:

number opera


  • An opera in which arias and other sections are clearly separable.

    • ‘This sensation of fragmentation effectively places the work closer to number opera, rather than Wagnerian music-drama, even though there are no actual set pieces in the traditional sense.’
    • ‘Perhaps one very specific innovation that can be attributed to the work as a whole is that it achieved, like Weill over 30 years previously, a modern re-interpretation of the 18th-century number opera.’
    • ‘Returning to the conventions of the number opera, as Krenek and Hindemith did, could not but produce music disquietingly at odds with its modern subject matter.’