Definition of opera seria in English:

opera seria


  • An opera (especially one of the 18th century in Italian) on a serious, usually classical or mythological theme.

    • ‘Silla, the opera seria here recorded, was one of the earliest Handel created after settling in London, though oddly enough the circumstances of its first performance are obscure.’
    • ‘Convention prevented a bass like Montagnana from playing a heroic role in an opera seria, which only goes to show how remarkable William Savage's presence in Imeneo really was.’
    • ‘Two further commissions for Milan followed, the wedding serenata Ascanio in Alba in 1771 and Lucio Silla, a magnificent opera seria, in 1772.’
    • ‘Hopefully this short miscellany gives some idea of the personalities and musical strengths of four of these singers; an indication of the varied characters that Handel worked with in his opera seria.’
    • ‘All this provides a reminder that this is an opera seria, with all its baroque associations.’
    • ‘I still fail to grasp how the sight of ancient Cretans dressed as bewigged eighteenth-century courtiers brings us closer to Mozart's noble opera seria, but never mind.’
    • ‘We can presume that when he sang the title role, Savage had a light, lyric baritone; a type of voice that we don't really see in Handel's opera seria.’
    • ‘She repeats the trick in the similarly tempestuous arias Combattuta da due venti, from Faramondo, and the angry central section of Deidamia's M'ai resa infelice, in Handel's last opera seria.’
    • ‘Puccini's Tosca is on Friday and Mozart's opera seria, Idomeneo, is on Saturday.’


Italian, literally ‘serious opera’.


opera seria