Opera buffa  

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"The premiere on 19 April 1774 of Iphigénie en Aulide sparked a huge controversy, almost a war, such as had not been seen in the city since the Querelle des Bouffons. Gluck's opponents brought the leading Italian composer Niccolò Piccinni to Paris to demonstrate the superiority of Neapolitan opera, and the "whole town" engaged in an argument between "Gluckists" and "Piccinnists". The composers themselves took no part in the polemics, but when Piccinni was asked to set the libretto to Roland, on which Gluck was also known to be working, Gluck destroyed everything he had written for that opera up to that point."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Opera buffa (a form of comic opera), also known as Commedia in musica or Commedia per musica, is a genre of opera. It developed in Naples in the first half of the 18th century, and from there its popularity spread to Rome and northern Italy.

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