ballad opera, in English drama, a play of comic, satiric, or pastoral intent, interspersed with songs, most of them sung to popular airs. First and best was The Beggar's Opera (1728) by John Gay. The vogue for these operas lasted until c.1750.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Theater