"Rock Opera" and "Metal opera" redirect here.
For the film, see Rock Opera (film).
For the album, see The Metal Opera.
For the metal genre nicknamed "opera metal", see symphonic metal.
A rock opera is a collection of rock music songs with lyrics that relate to a common story.
The use of various character roles within the song lyrics is a common storytelling device.
The success of the rock opera genre has inspired similar works in other musical styles, such as rap opera.
In an early use of the term, the July 4, 1966, edition of RPM Magazine (published in Toronto) reported that "Bruce Cockburn and Mr [William] Hawkins are working on a Rock Opera, operating on the premise that to write you need only 'something to say'."
Although Pete Townshend denied taking any influence from S.F.
Scott Mervis of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that, although Tommy was not the first rock opera, it was the first album to be billed as such.
In an effort to appeal to more modern audiences, opera companies have welcomed more pop and rock influences.
In Russian music, the term zong-opera (Зонг-опера) is sometimes used, since the first Soviet-Russian rock-opera Orpheus and Eurydice was described with this term, though the term "rock-opera" was already known in the Soviet rock music circles.
A rock opera that experienced commercial recording and Broadway success is Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and in respect of which Lloyd Webber said "the piece was written as a rock album from the outset and set out from the start to tell the story through the music itself."
Clements states that lyrics drive rock operas, which makes them not a true form of opera.
Responding to accusations that rock operas are pretentious and overblown, Pete Townshend wrote that pop music by its very nature rejects such characteristics and is an inherently simple form.
Townshend said that the only goal of pop music is to reach audiences, and rock operas are merely one more way to do so.
Peter Kiesewalter, on the other hand, said that rock music and opera are "both overblown, massive spectacles" that cover the same themes.
Kiesewalter, who was originally not a fan of opera, did not think the two styles would mix well together, but his modernized operas with rock music surprised him with their popularity at the East Village Opera Company.
Rock operas are usually recorded and performed on albums by the artists themselves, but they can also be performed on the stage, such as Rent, which played on Broadway.
This usage has also courted controversy; Anne Midgette of The New York Times called them musicals with "no more than the addition of a keyboard and a drum set".
- The Survival of St. Joan
- List of rock musicals
- Concept album
- True Symphonic Rockestra
- Wagnerian rock
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock opera.