|another term for operetta|
general designation for musical plays with light subject matter and happy endings. The dialogue is usually spoken, rather than sung. In addition to operetta and musical comedy, types of comic opera include Italian opera buffa (which has sung dialogue), German Singspiel, English ballad opera, and Spanish tonadilla and zarzuela. The French opera-comique originated as comic opera but later dealt with serious subject matter.
Learn more about light opera with a free trial on Britannica.com.