Opera seria (It: ‘serious opera’)
- Marita P. McClymonds
- and Daniel Heartz
A term used to signify Italian opera of the 18th and 19th centuries on a heroic or tragic subject. The term was rarely used at the time; it can sometimes be found on manuscript scores, particularly in the last quarter of the 18th century, but ‘dramma per musica’ is the usual genre description on most 18th-century and many early 19th-century printed librettos. ‘Opera seria’ appears occasionally on librettos late in the 18th century, for example for Prati's ...