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What's The Difference Between A Ballet, An Opera And A Musical?

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Julii Brainard Profile
Julii Brainard answered
All involve a story set to lots of music.

In a ballet all the acting is done via the dance. There's no singing or speaking (virtually never).

In a musical, there's some dance, some singing, and some acting done with speech.

An opera may also feature, dance, but it's usually a minor part of the acting. Singing is paramount. Few operas feature plain (non-singing) speech.

An opera is further distinct from a musical by the length (operas are sometimes many hours if not days long). The demands placed on opera singers are normally much greater than in a musical; opera singers have to be really loud and to be able to sing a much greater range of notes, holding those notes for longer.

The themes of ballet/opera/musicals are also quite divergents. All three may touch on social issues, but overwhelmingly comedy is a big part of musicals. Whereas ballets and operas are rarely comical and yet frequently tragic in their message and storyline.
Karl Sagan Profile
Karl Sagan answered

Ballet is just dancing to music. Opera is singing to music (and to aficionados), and a musical is a whole performance where they dance and sing. I love musicals. I really like the musical Cats because it has beautiful songs. I even downloaded myself a YouTube video from Tubidy for free because I really liked one moment from this musical. If you too would like to download something for free, I recommend this resource.

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