One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Opera with a fantastic or supernatural subject.
1950s; earliest use found in W. H. Auden (1907–1973), poet and writer. Apparently from Italian opera opera + magica, feminine of magico magic, probably after German Zauberoper, lit. ‘magic opera’. The compound opera magica is apparently not attested in Italian.
opera magica/ˌɒp(ə)rə ˈmadʒɪkə/
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