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For the Andrea Bocelli song, see Melodramma (song).
Not to be confused with melodrama.

Melodramma (plural: melodrammi) is an Italian term for opera, used in a much narrower sense by English writers[1] to discuss developments in the early 19th-century Italian libretto. Characteristic are the influence of French bourgeois drama, female instead of male protagonists, and the practice of opening the action with a chorus.

It should not be confused with Victorian stage melodrama (drama of exaggerated intensity), to which it seems to be, however, related, or with melodrama (spoken declamation accompanied by background music) (in Italian, melologo), both of which are spelled without a double m. [2]


  1. ^ Specifically Patrick Smith in The Tenth Muse, p.73, though the New Grove calls the term "standard"
  2. ^ Budden, Julian: Melodramma in 'The New Grove Dictionary of Opera', ed. Stanley Sadie (London, 1992) ISBN 0-333-73432-7