An opera in which the text and action are not interrupted by set arias, duets, etc., the music being determined throughout by dramatic appropriateness; musical drama of this character, in general. It involves the use of a kind of melodious declamation, the development of leitmotif, great orchestral elaboration, and a fusion of poetry, music, action, and scene into an organic whole. The term is applied esp. to the later works of Wagner: "Tristan und Isolde," "Die Meistersinger," "Rheingold," "Walküre," "Siegfried," "Götterdämmerung," and "Parsifal."
© Webster 1913