Definition of semi-opera in US English:



  • A drama or similar entertainment with a substantial proportion of vocal music in addition to instrumental movements.

    • ‘This was the first semi-opera written from scratch, with more than a dozen musical episodes and using a huge orchestra.’
    • ‘None of these were strictly semi-operas, but the spoken word continued to exert a strong influence.’
    • ‘After the Restoration the masque transferred to the professional theatre, where its tradition continued in Purcell's semi-operas.’
    • ‘His Psyche of 1675 is an important forerunner of the semi-operas later taken up by Purcell and others.’
    • ‘Pioneering began with the introduction of English semi-operas into the repertories of colonial theatres.’