In your opinion, what is the difference between opera and musical theater?

Stephen Sondheim Stephen Sondheim
“…opera is musical theater that takes place in an opera house in front of an opera audience…”
Jack Beeson Jack Beeson
“…In musicals, all the words…are to be understood. Opera audiences…are awed when…they understand an English libretto, and forget to watch the supertitles…”
Philip Glass Philip Glass
“…Basically, I don’t care what you call it…”
Elizabeth Swados Elizabeth Swados
“I don’t think those words apply anymore to the creations of this time…”
Dominick Argento Dominick Argento
“…operatic music is primarily concerned with defining characters and creating atmosphere, whereas the tunes of musical comedy are essentially decorative and ancillary…”
Mark Adamo Mark Adamo
“…Musicals belong to the business of theatre…while opera belongs to the business of ‘elitist’ classical music…”
Diane Wondisford Diane Wondisford
“…As opera companies include time-honored American musicals in their repertoire and theatres produce opera, the distinctions between the two worlds are becoming blurred….”
Grethe Barrett Holby Grethe Barrett Holby
“…In Music-Theater, the music is in the theater; in opera, the music is the theater…”