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[sing-speel; German zing-shpeel] /ˈsɪŋˌspil; German ˈzɪŋˌʃpil/
a German opera, especially of the 18th century, using spoken dialogue and resembling ballad opera.
Origin of singspiel
1880-85; < German, equivalent to sing(en) to sing + Spiel play Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for singspiel
Historical Examples
  • A singspiel in three scenes, a free rendering of Comala with the original ending unchanged.

    Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo
  • Leipsic and Vienna made earnest attempts to support the German "singspiel" (song-play).

    How Music Developed W. J. Henderson
  • The old German singspiel form is preserved in the original score of "Der Freischtz," which contains spoken dialogue.

    How Music Developed W. J. Henderson
  • Did not Wagner himself recommend a budding bard to start his musical career with a singspiel?

    The Opera R.A. Streatfeild
British Dictionary definitions for singspiel


a type of comic opera in German with spoken dialogue, popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries
Word Origin
literally: singing play
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for singspiel

1876, from German Singspiel, literally "a singing play," from singen "to sing" (see sing (v.)) + Spiel "a play" (see spiel). Kind of performance popular in Germany late 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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