Opera Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein   (Information in this section is synthesized from The Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music by Milton Cross and David Ewen, 1953 edition.) The word "opera" was first used by Pietro Francesco Cavelli in the 17th century, though the form was developed in the city of Florence during the Italian Renaissance by a group of men known as "camerata," whose purpose was to restore classic Greek drama, which often incorporated music in the performances. At that time, the form that ultimately came to be called "opera" was known as "dramma per musica." The term "opera" is generally applied to an extended dramatic work intended for stage production in which all aspects of the musical arts are included (e.g., vocal singing parts with instrumental accompaniment, as well as dance, when that form of art wasn't under governmental ban). "Opera buffa" was a comic form of opera that first appeared in Italy in the 18th century; "opera comique" was a variation of comic opera that included spoken dialogue; "operetta" is light opera that differs from the other forms of comic opera in that it places greater emphasis on a farcical play and dialogue than on the music. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily