|opera1 (ˈɒpərə, ˈɒprə)|
|1.||an extended dramatic work in which music constitutes a dominating feature, either consisting of separate recitatives, arias, and choruses, or having a continuous musical structure|
|2.||the branch of music or drama represented by such works|
|3.||the score, libretto, etc, of an opera|
|4.||a theatre where opera is performed|
|[C17: via Italian from Latin: work, a work, plural of opus work]|
"No good opera plot can be sensible. ... People do not sing when they are feeling sensible." [W.H. Auden, 1961]As a branch of dramatic art, it is attested from 1759. First record of opera glass "small binoculars for use at the theater" is from 1738. Soap opera is first recorded 1939, as a disparaging reference to daytime radio dramas sponsored by soap manufacturers.