Musical theatre combines acting, singing, dancing and speaking. It’s a bit like opera but usually there is more speaking (often the soloists are actors as much as, if not more than, singers, whereas in opera it is the opposite), there is more dancing, and the music is often more relaxed (sometimes closer to jazz or pop) in its character.

Do You Know?

Do You Know?

See if you can answer the questions below!

 What is the name of the family in The Sound of Music?

a. von Trapp
b. Schumann
c. Goldstein

 Who was Arthur Sullivan’s writing partner?

a. Cole Porter
b. Oscar Hammerstein
c. W.S. Gilbert

 What is the term for a song where two people sing together?

a. Aria
b. Duet
c. Ensemble

Play More Music!

Play More Music!

Listen to more tracks and works featured in Musicals.


Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)
Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990): West Side Story

Bernstein’s West Side Story is full of catchy, jazzy, brilliant music for orchestras to play, singers to sing, and dancers to dance to. This musical is one of the best ever created and it has been done on stage and on screen. With a theme similar to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it is about two teenagers who fall in love but have a hard time because they’re from rival street gangs in New York.

Performers: Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Schermerhorn, Kenneth, Marianne Cooke, Robert Dean, Mike Eldred, Betsi Morrison, Michael San Giovanni

Taken from Naxos 8.559126

Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900): The Mikado (overture)

Writer W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan formed a theatrical partnership that proved incredibly successful in Victorian England. Their comic operas are full of witty songs and absurd characters.

Performers: Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Andrew Penny

Taken from Naxos 8.554165