The Differences Between Opera and Musical Theater

December 27, 2017
By , beijing, China

Do you know the differences between opera and musical theater? Musical theater and opera are both a kind theatrical form that combines music, drama, and dance together. In fact, musical theater is developed from opera. Opera and musical are quite similar. But there’s still some differences between opera and musical theater, such as, the requirements for the actors, the theaters where the performances are, and the music in the shows.
First of all, musical theater and opera have different requirements for their actors and actresses. When choosing actors for operas, for instance, the only thing we need to consider is the singers’ singing skills. The audition of musical theater is much more complex. As its name suggests, musical theater is a play with some music in it. So, when choosing actors for musical theaters, we need to consider numerous things. Not only the actors’ voices but also their acting skills, statures, and sometimes dancing skills. People may saw a fat Violetta in La Traviata, but never a plump Fantine in Les Miserable. There is a difference between the audition of opera and musical theater.
Second, opera and musical theater are performed in different kind of theaters. Usually, singers are not allowed to use microphones when singing operas. So, in order to allow  everyone to  hear the singer’s voice, theaters where operas can be performed must have perfect sound fields. Theaters of musical plays don’t need to have wonderful sound fields. They need a huge backstage to put a bunch of splendid costumes and some beautiful stage properties of musical theaters. For example, the musical theatre The Phantom of The Opera uses 230 costumes, 180 candles, 550 pounds of dry ice, a big chandelier, and a lot of other stage properties in every single performance. And all of the things have to be placed in the backstage. The theaters where opera and musical play are performed are unique.


People can also distinguished opera and musical theater by the music in them. the music in opera only can be classical music. And there isn’t  any dialogue in opera. The dialogue will transforms in a melodic or musical pattern called recitative. However, musical theatre is made up of several songs, or musical pieces, connected by lines of dialogue. The songs and musical pieces in it can be all kinds of music, such as, rock music, jazz, and folk songs etc. The music style in opera and musical theater are disparate.


Opera and musical theater have different requirements for the actors, unique requests of theaters and diverse music style. Both musical theater and opera is fantastic. Nevertheless, I prefer musical theater to opera for its passionate performance, attractive stage properties, and popular music. Watch a musical theater and an opera with your family before the end of Christmas holidays. Then you can find your prefer.






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