Opera buffa is an
Although we use the term “opera buffa” today, in the 18th century they called such operas by other names, e.g. “commedia in musica”, “dramma giocosa”, “operetta”, “burlesca” etc. An opera buffa was usually a full length work: one which would fill a whole evening’s entertainment. It was different from an “intermezzo” or “farsa” which was a short musical comedy that was performed during the intervals of a musical tragedy, although the difference between the two is not always obvious. The intermezzo became longer and longer during the 18th century and gradually developed into opera buffa. Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrone was an intermezzo which became very famous after Pergolesi’s death. It
Opera buffa always included a lot of caricature. The characters showed human weaknesses such as , , and (people who were pretending to be wise and important). They often poked fun at the ruling
In opera buffa the acting was always very important. It was a very lively show, with a lot happening very quickly. At the end of each
Opera buffa started in
By the end of the 18th century it was not always possible to tell the difference between an opera buffa and an opera seria.