aria [( ahr -ee-uh)]
A piece of music for one voice (or occasionally two voices) in an opera, oratorio, or cantata. In contrast with recitative singing, arias are melodious; in contrast with ordinary songs, arias are usually elaborate.
Note : Some composers, such as Richard Wagner, have felt that arias interrupt the action of opera too much and hence have written operas without them.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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