Opéra comique  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Opéra comique (pl., opéras comiques) is a genre of opéra that contains spoken dialogue, and sometimes recitatives, in addition to arias. It emerged out of the popular opéra comiques en vaudevilles of the Fair Theatres of St Germain and St Laurent (and to a lesser extent the Comédie-Italienne), which combined existing popular tunes with spoken sections. Associated with the same name Paris theatre, Opéra-Comique, opéra comique is, despite its name, not always comic or light in nature—indeed, Carmen, likely the most famous opéra comique, is a tragedy. It is sometimes confused with 18th-century French version of the Italian opera buffa, in French known as opéra bouffon (different again from the 19th century opéra bouffe).

Notable examples

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