Re: What is your opinion on sung-though musicals?
Actually, Die Zauberflöte is not named "opera" but singspiel. It means a musical theatre piece with alternate spoken dialogues and arias.
But you're right, everybody today refers to it as an opera. Just like Carmen, which is not technically an opera, but an "Opéra comique" where dialogues alternate with music.
So I think we could say that a real opera is sung through.
The genres singspiel or opéra comique, and later operettas where supposed to be lighter music, easier to listen to, thanks to the spoken dialogues.
It seems to be the same with musicals. Reading you all, a musical with dialogues is considered easier than a sung through. Time passes, things never change !
I personally like sung through musicals. As long as the recitatives are good. Same, I like book musicals as long as the transition between songs and dialogue is well written. The Sound of Music has quite bad dialogues, but lots of songs are actual songs in the story. Maria sings with children, they rehearse for the festival, Maria song a song to reassure the children during the storm, etc. Songs are completely mixed naturally in the story.