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1 Vocal work, mainly from medieval times to 17th cent., in which echo, alternation, or contrast suggested spoken dialogue.

2 Spoken dialogue is used in some types of opera, e.g. Fr. opéra‐comique, Ger. Singspiel, Sp. zarzuela, and Eng. ballad opera (and the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan). In Beethoven's Fidelio there is spoken dialogue and melodrama. In some cases spoken dialogue has been replaced by accompanied recitative comp. by someone else (e.g. Guiraud for Bizet's Carmen). There are examples of a brief spoken passage used in opera to great dramatic effect, e.g. in Britten's Peter Grimes.

Subjects: Arts and Humanities.

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