Eighteenth-century opera in the German language, containing spoken dialogue and usually comic in tone. The earliest singspiels were light plays in which the dialogue was interspersed with popular songs. In Vienna the form had a brief but intense flowering that resulted in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's enduring Abduction from the Seraglio (1782) and The Magic Flute (1791). Singspiel evolved into transitional works such as Ludwig van Beethoven's Fidelio (1805) and ultimately gave rise to German Romantic opera. See also musical; operetta; zarzuela.
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