The zarzuela is a Spanish dramatic and musical form, making use of song and dance and attracting the attention of leading Spanish composers, who found in its popular form a means of subsistence. The zarzuela has its own varied history, but this has little bearing on the general history of European opera outside the Iberian peninsula.
The Zauberoper (magic opera) found particular favour in Vienna in the last quarter of the 18th century. Among works of this kind the best known is Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (‘The Magic Flute’), but contemporary composers made use of other magic instruments, bassoons and harps among them. These works mingle comedy with the supernatural and draw on an older popular tradition, often dealing with the exploits of the common man in uncommon surroundings.