Imagine you are in a darkened theater and on stage are the actors. Behind the actors you can see the scenery. Down in front of the stage, in what is called the pit, is an orchestra and a conductor. As the orchestra plays, the actors on stage do not speak their lines they sing them!
Opera is the combination of drama and music. Like drama, opera embraces the entire spectrum of theatrical elements: dialogue, acting, costumes, scenery and action, but it is the sum of all these elements, combined with music, which defines the art form called opera.
Operatic dramas are usually serious, but there are several comic operas and funny scenes in tragic operas. The music is usually complicated and difficult to sing well. Only the most skillful singers can handle it. The cast is usually made up of main characters (the soloists) and a chorus (a group of singers who act as a crowd of people involved in the action of the plot). Some operas have scenes in which dancing is performed by a sma...