Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019



This introduction serves as an overview of the development of operetta and points to the neglect of operetta by many scholars of music and theatre. The editors begin by defining this genre, which is multi-faceted and often difficult to categorize. The introduction sets the stage for the following chapters by guiding the reader towards the important landmarks in the historical developments of operetta, such as those that occurred in France, Austria and London, and, in the twentieth century, in Berlin. In doing so, it also comments on notable composers and works. It concludes with some reflections on operetta reception in the twenty-first century.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Everett, William A., ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Musical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Grun, Bernard. Die leichte Muse: Kulturgeschichte der Operette. Munich: Langen Müller Verlag, 1961.
Lamb, Andrew. 150 Years of Popular Musical Theatre. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000.
Niccolai, Michela and Rowden, Clair, eds. Musical Theatre in Europe 1830–1945. Turnhout: Brepols, 2017.
Traubner, Richard. Operetta: A Theatrical History. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Anderson, James. The Complete Dictionary of Opera and Operetta. New York, NY: Wings, 1993.
Bordman, Gerald Martin and Norton, Richard. American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. New York: Oxford University Press, 4th ed. 2011 (orig. pub. 1978).
Drone, Jeanette Marie. Index to Opera, Operetta and Musical Comedy Synopses in Collections and Periodicals. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978.
Ewen, David. The Book of European Light Opera. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962.
Gänzl, Kurt. Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. New York: Schirmer, 1994.
Green, Stanley. Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1976.
Letellier, Robert Ignatius. Operetta: A Sourcebook. 2 vols. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.
Lubbock, Mark. The Complete Book of Light Opera. With an American section by David Ewen. London: Putnam, 1962.
Norton, Richard C. A Chronology of American Musical Theater. 3 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Oster, Louis. Guide raisonné et déraisonnable de l’opérette et de la comédie musicale. Paris: Fayard, 2008.
Raymond, Jack. Show Music on Record from the 1890s to the 1980s. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1982.
Schneidereit, Otto. Operette A–Z: Ein Streifzug durch die Welt der Operette und des Musicals. Berlin: Henschelverlag, 1975.
Wagner, Heinz. Das große Operettenbuch: 120 Komponisten und 430 Werke. Berlin: Parthas-Verl., 1997.
Wearing, J. P. The London Stage 1890–1959: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. 14 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2nd ed. 2013.