You are in a theater, watching a play, and you are quite enjoying the story, the characters and in general you are having a good time with the well written dialogues. When, suddenly, something happen: a music starts, and everyone on the stage start singing and dancing! They aren't insane, don't worry, you are simply watching a musical! Musicals are pretty simple and at the same time hard to define: a theater play where the story is told by music and songs, or either where songs interrupt often the story to tell about the characters emotion or other stuff. Songs in a musical can have any purpose, and the tone itself can change a lot. There are sad musical, with very quiet and tearjerker tones and songs during it, and very happy ones, with catchy songs that you will keep singing and humming even days after you are watched it.

Musicals are the most american of theatre play, since their origins is to be found right in the USA. And therefore it shouldn't surprise anyone the amount of musicals that you can see across the United States, expecially in Broadway. However, what is commonly known as Broadway Musical is just a simple part, a single representation of this huge genre: here there is a story with songs and dancing, but a musical isn't just that. It can be different, with different genres of songs (for example, a Rock Opera is a musical with a very young cast, where the songs are indeed all rock songs), or a dance musical, where the focus is more on the dancing than the songs, and many others. It can be serious, comedic, dramatic, it can tell the story of a historical character or of a fictional group of characters.

Of course they aren't totally perfect, and some musicals aren't as great as others. Besides, some people find completely unrealistic the fact that the characters sing in a story - after all in real life who start singing to explain a concept or tell a story? Some of them are even pretty long and it can be hard to sit through there for their entirity. If it's good, it shouldn't be a problem, but otherwise no song would save you from boredom.

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  • The music can be pretty good
  • Many musicals are very enjoyable
  • Very popular and easy to find anywhere
  • Catchy, happy, sad or dramatic: there is something for everyone
  • Besides the songs there are often very good dancing

  • Sometime unrealistic
  • Not all musicals are good as others
  • Often overly long
  • Can be expensive
  • Some movie adaptation ruined the original musicals
  • You might not find the musical you want to see anywhere if it's too old or not too popular



More modern

I'm not a very traditional kind of guy. That's why I prefer musicals over operas. I think that musicals are much more fun and modern as compared to operas. I have watched different musical plays in the past and have learned to appreciate them over time. I just can't seem to appreciate operas, all those high pitched voices, songs that seem to be sang during a holy mass... It just doesn't cut it for me. Also, musicals have some very catchy tunes that could stick to your head long after the end of the event.
Posted by limberg on 01-10-2018


I don't really watch many of either but I will still go with the musical because it isn't just singing. I love that it's a mix of other elements such as dancing and so on.

The songs tend to be extremely catchy and easy to "sing along" in your head. It's just more entertaining to watch.

Posted by Mehano on 03-03-2018
There are some operas that have dialogue, and some musicals that do not. The difference lies more in the musical style and the vocal quality in general terms. There is a wide gray area between opera and musical theater, which some people call "crossover". In general, opera singers have a much higher level of vocal training. In addition, generally (not always) musicals do not have the same vocal demands and do not require the same level of technique of their singers. In fact, the singers of musicals almost always use microphones.


I am partly saying this because I don't have enough experience with opera to judge. I have never been to an opera. I have only had limited experience with it at certain points in time.
Posted by kgord on 02-13-2018

Musicals are never in English

I like to understand what I hear. I mean, I suppose it's closed-minded and they probably have little books which interpret it, but at a primal level I simply like stuff heard in my own language.

Anyway, though, there are musicals that are non-English and there are operas in English. Those cases would be exceptions.

Posted by jyy on 04-12-2018


I feel like there is more variety and flexibility when it comes to musicals. Although to be fair I've never been to an opera before so I don't know how varied they can get but I've always just seen and imagined them to be fairly similar with each other. With musicals you can go to ones that are comedic or dramatic in nature and there can be good dialogue exchanges in between.
Posted by Wubwub on 01-10-2018

Musicals are my preference

Operas are a good learning experience but as an entertainment preference, I am a musicals guy. I think you get to feel and experience the performances in a way that is more emotional and effective, when viewing a musical as opposed to an opera.
Posted by NickJ on 03-23-2018


I would vote for modern musicals because it's like watching a movie, it's colorful and theres a lot of people singing unlike classic opera which at times can be boring unless you're a fan of classical music.

Musicals can sometimes be dramatic and sometimes romantic and funny, I like the latter . I like musicals which are fun and that gives me a smile or a good laugh. If you're tired watching movies try watching a live musical and i bet you'll enjoy it.

Posted by Kakashi2020 on 03-23-2018

Fun to watch

This kind of theater play was very enjoying. Different kind or genre of musics are going to play here. Adding up with good story. This one will not make you feel sleepy unlike opera.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 03-15-2018

Great with kids

Although both are very fun to watch, i like musical because my kids are more into musical. It's a great way for kids to understand and be interested in the scene. Lastly it's a great way to spend time with family specially when my kids are enjoying.
Posted by fishbate on 03-31-2018

I prefer musical

I prefer musical because I like listening to music and I'm not really into opera stage shows and yes opera is quite boring sometimes especially if the story is not totally familiar to viewers. While musical is not only lively but also entertaining and I'd go for what makes me happy. But I salute to opera artists for having such a great talents, it is just that opera is not my kind of taste to shows.
Posted by mitan143 on 05-11-2018

SO much more fun

I've been to both, but I didn't really enjoy the opera - it was too stuffy and formal feeling. Musicals are more fun and relaxed, and there are musicals to suit just about anyone's taste - they're so much more versatile in my opinion.
Posted by amelia88 on 10-15-2018

Both but Musical is what I prefer the most

I like to watch both Opera and Musical Performances, however, I like Musicals more because it's more modern. Also, I like musicals because they incorporate more musical genres compared to opera which uses only classical music.
Posted by jaybee19 on 10-25-2018

Sing Along

What I liked about Musical is that I can sing with the song since it does not require a good voice that much unlike the opera. It is also adaptative to modern generation and it doesn't seem old. I could understand more of the story if it is done by musical. And lastly, I really find it entertaining and fun to watch.
Posted by ajahcuizon on 09-28-2018


I would prefer watching a musical because it is so vibrant and it is full of varieties. I like that musical can play old songs to modern songs. I get easily bored and I think a musical will not bore me that easy.
Posted by anchoreztin on 10-05-2018


I vote for musical. I love watching and hearing musical plays. Its because I am a music lover.
Posted by jeffreyjose48 on 09-16-2018

I will opt for musicals

Although I like both the forms because they are related to music, but given a choice I will always opt for musicals over operas. good musical plays are always a delight to watch and also listen. they can be very refreshing and also entertaining. operas, on the other hand, can become monotonous and shrill sometimes especially when the opera singers are average or not so good. if a very good opera continues for a longer time then it can sometimes be very boring. Musicals, however, are more bearable even if they get extended for more time. my choice is always going to be musicals over operas
Posted by jpk0007 on 10-17-2018

Partly Opera but more of a Musical

Topics within the Musical are far wider. The movements are also freer. The music has progressed with time and generations that watch it could actually relate t the topic. As for the Opera, the quality of arts are exquisite while in the musical it takes a lot of forms that everyone could relate and enjoy.
Posted by emiaj55 on 10-22-2018


I love musicals.It is a perfect combination of good storytelling and great music. I don’t really understand opera but kudos to the operatic singers. They have incredible coice. For me musical are much fun. I like how they convey story better.
Posted by thejoyrevolution on 11-09-2018


I think musicals are more current in terms of the theme as well as style of singing compared to operas. I don't think you can hear actors rapping in operas. And I love that there are dialogues in musicals, it makes it much easier to follow the story.
Posted by iambeth on 10-30-2018


I love musical. I like it because it makes me relax and enjoy whenever I watch musical plays. The choice of music is great and I can relate to it. Most of the music are known and popular.

On the other hand, I didn't chose opera because I haven't watch it before and do not have any experience to it.

Posted by rubeth1726 on 12-05-2018

Lives in the form of Music

The way a Musical is executed is very creative and visually appealing. The music in itself has the ability to reach from the characters to the audience how they feel. Not only that but is also able to provoke deep emotions and thinking. The strong emotions that they can show in their singing is not something to ignore.

A musical portrays a story that becomes something anyone can relate to. Truly memorable.

Posted by Yumyan on 12-07-2018

Italy is the land of art: many stuff originated here, paintings, sculptures, buildings... and of course even some music. While italian singers of today might not be as famous outside of their native country, ancient history of Italy offered the world a huge theatrical and musical genre, that many people today still love, and many others hate: opera. Operas shouldn't be confused with musicals, even if the base concept is the same: a theater play with music and songs. First of all, in a opera there is what is known as "libretto" (that could literally be translated in little book), where there is the whole text of the opera, from songs to dialogues, and it's usually the thing that was written first. On the libretto a composer produced music, and some of them became extremely famous even today (from Figaro to Ridi Pagliaccio, even if people maybe can't understand them, they still love and listen to those arias). Speaking about arias.. and recitativis. Those are the two parts that compose a opera: a "recitativo" is a part where the actors talk, in a melodic manner, and they are basically the dialogues of the opera. The main focus, however, are the arias, the big musical numbers, the one that can be considered actually as songs: many memorable scores have been composed during the course of the years, even more than the actualy lyrics. Speaking about those, they can be pretty hard to understand... even for a native speacher, actually. Maybe it's for the way they are sung, maybe it's for the loud and distracting music, but the libretto is a absolute necessity when watching a opera, if you want to understand everything that is going on. In any case, a opera is a serious theater experience that the massive audience usually don't appreciate too much, maybe for its complexity, maybe because it's a ancient genre not as popular today. But there are many theaters just dedicated to it, and even today the most famous arias are still known and recognized by everone, with their immortal notes and lyrics.

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  • A immortal and ancient musical genre
  • Some very popular and well known music
  • Watching a opera make you feel serious and intelligent
  • Many theaters dedicated just to opera are gorgeous and massive
  • Historical pieces important to preserve

  • Can be hard to understand even for native speakers
  • Some of them are pretty boring for many people
  • A bit of a ancient musical genre, some of the youngers migh prefer something more modern
  • Can be hard to find a opera nearby you
  • No dancing at all



I love Opera

some of the roots are here !
Posted by Anonymous on 03-10-2018

Opera is More Artistic

Although I am really not a big fan of either of these genres, I would have to say, when given the choice between them, that I would most assuredly choose opera. It sings of great and epic tragedies and of lost loves and history. I know that musicals can also do the same thing, but I think that opera does this on a much higher level of aesthetic quality. It is amazing to hear what the human voice, whether male or female, can do emitting from the bodies of these talented baritones, sopranos, and soloists.
Posted by JoeMilford on 02-26-2018
Man I feel you. When you put me to choose between these two, is like I'm choosing the lesser of two evils. I do like art in all its ways, but not a huge fan of musicals and opera. But, opera is a great one, super artistic, I would say a more profound vocal range is required, and it takes years to get that level of artistry.


I am greatly amused with opera singers like the tenor Pavarotti. But to watch the opera, I don’t think my ears can stand music like that for a long time. And worse, the ticket for the opera is very expensive. I haven’t been to Broadway or West End yet but I had watched several musical plays here particularly the local plays. It is amusing especially if the theme is humorous and not a serious drama. What I like in the musical is that I can also sing the songs. Take for example the Sound of Music, it’s one great musical for me.
Posted by Corzhens on 01-05-2018
I have watched recorded opera but never been to opera. My favorite opera is "The Phantom of the opera" that was performed at Royal Albert Hall, London. (I watched the recorded version). I have watched many musicals and I love musicals. I regularly go to watch musicals everytime they are being performed in the theatre in my town.
Posted by vinaya on 01-05-2018
I have never seen an opera in person so it is hard for me to know which I would prefer. I think it would be fun to go to the opera at least once. The closest I have been is that there is a restaurant here in Virginia that features or used to feature opera singers with dinner. That was pretty neat and something really different.
Posted by kgord on 01-08-2018
I like musical a lot because it a combination of both a story and music it makes it better for more enjoyment and delight of what one is watching.I can remember attending a concert and musical was the main activity for the night.I enjoyed it because the performers gave a good account of themselves.The performers sing well and add some nice dance steps to it.
Posted by lovely on 01-10-2018
I will prefer to choose musical because I loved it since before. Actually I involve about music and I love to listen and watch it. Until right now still update about musical rather than opera. I don't fond about opera because I have no idea about it.
Posted by mar06 on 01-19-2018
These two are classic art forms that are theatrical in nature and have many similarities between them. I'd prefer listening to music. Musicals are light-hearted comedies in general though there are also musicals with serious themes. In a musical, there are dialogues with interspersed songs. However, there are some like Les Miserables, Joseph, Chess, etc. that are almost like operas with the story moving forward through songs only.
Posted by cess_08 on 02-28-2018
Probably, for those who are not fans of the theater world, the word "musical" evokes sugary Broadway images and movies where the songs are interspersed with the dialogue of the actors. In contrast, the opera is seen as a cousin of the musical, although somewhat more melodramatic. I have a penchant for both, depending on the style and length.
Posted by mcnasci24 on 12-12-2018
Musical for me. I can't relate to some opera show, It's looks like that, I feel old when I hear something from opera. Although it's really classic and looks elegant, but still, at my age it's hard to find the connection to opera. Musical I think is the new opera specially for some teens or millennial who born during 90s and 20s.
Posted by ion on 03-03-2018
I love Opera Music hands down! I mean opera is just the all for me. It is the universe in its intelligent workings as expressed through sound. Nothing can beat that for me. It really touches my person because it makes you reflect on the subject matter. Every strain of the chord (vocal or string) carries a message that only the deep understand. Opera music in various cultures also have great value to those who listen to them and I can also relate as well. Also because I am a big fan of much ancient styled music since they make much sense to me that the modern ones. I will prefer a music with concept over the one that just attempts to appeal to the senses. Not all food that tastes good is healthy!
Posted by Anonymous on 03-07-2018
Music is what I've grown to really enjoy listening to and there are few moments that I've got the chance to be at place where live performances were done by musicians and I must say that those were the best days of my life in the sense that both my friends and I will always have the necessary fun at those places. Another very important thing that I like about music is that you get to learn so much from the words of these artistes as well when you listen to their songs.
Posted by Barida on 03-10-2018
Another debate that is even match with the other. Hard to tell who really is the winner. It depends on the age or the type of the music the voter was listening.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 03-15-2018
I like watching musicals since there's a lot going well as the singing. As for opera I enjoy listening to it a lot more so than watching because the music is far more complex and so it's more of an auditory experience than a visual one. Both are great but people have to keep in mind that despite their similarities, musicals and operas are two different animals putting emphasis on one sense over the other.
Posted by Rhodolite on 03-27-2018
I admire people who enjoy watching opera. But I have to be honest that I enjoy the musical because of the general appeal. The opera has something in it that a deeper meaning should be realized before you can enjoy. In other words, you cannot enjoy the opera if you don’t have the artistic inclination since it is composed not only of songs but also of a story that the performers want to convey.
Posted by Corzhens on 05-02-2018
I like both. I guess it comes down to which plays or operas we're talking about. I generally like upbeat songs. So musicals with optimistic music will win me over. What I like about operas is their grand gestures. Those epic scenes and performance are outstanding. I love those moments.
Posted by Steve5 on 05-03-2018
You are right. I love those upbeat songs too and you will enjoy more of them if they are played in a musical type of show. Opera may seems great because of its perfectionist nature, but if you like show that will make you feel alive musical is for you.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 09-19-2018
I honestly like both, but I rarely find a good opera performance. So I stick with musical most of the time. Also, my parents really love a good musical movies so I got used to watching musicals.
Posted by nrnlss on 10-20-2018
I like watching musicals more than opera. Musicals are more fun to watch because the singers/actors are singing their way through the story along with choreographed dance routines, unlike opera which is too serious for my taste.
Posted by Kakashi2020 on 11-07-2018
In standard, opera singers have a far higher degree of vocal training they regularly sing a lot greater difficult music more superbly, and task over a complete orchestra without amplification. Typically musicals do not have the equal vocal needs and do not require the equal degree of approach from their singers. Singers in musicals almost always put on mics.
Posted by jetselle on 11-11-2018
I loved musical compared to opera because it is to formal. Wherein in musical, it is very entertaining to watch and you can get along to the songs sometimes. Musicals have both music and drama that fun to watch and and also it the atmosphere around you is very comfortable as well.
Posted by luv2xacosta on 11-21-2018
I hate both of them, but If I had to choose I would choose the musical. I hate the opera, because I think that music and the voice is exaggerated. I've never been into classical music. I don't understand it all. I like music with a good beat. I'm a rock and pop kind of girl. When I was in school we used to do many musicals so I think that I prefer those more. Depending on the play they can be quite fun and entertaining. I would rather watch them live, I draw the line at watching them at the movies or on the television.
Posted by jaymish on 11-21-2018
In the opera, music is the force that pushes everything forward; In musical theater, words come first. While listening to an opera, it usually does not matter in which language you sing, as long as you know the basic plot, but in musical theater, the story comes from the lyrics.

Can I choose both? I enjoy them immensely.
Posted by mcnasci24 on 12-12-2018
I have seen on tv an opera several times and also a musical several times. To be frank I don’t enjoy much of the musical unless I know the songs like the Sound of Music which was popular when I was a girl. When I do not know the song whether it is an opera or musical then I don’t expect to enjoy the show maybe because I am not a music lover. What I need is to study the lyrics first before I watch the show.
Posted by Corzhens on 12-16-2018