This was a very clever list I found some time ago, detailing the circumstances under which Sweeney Todd could be considered either a musical or a chamber opera. I therefore can’t take credit for these, but I DID make up the last one myself!
Sweeney Todd is an opera when…the orchestra is dressed in black tie. It’s a musical when the orchestra is dressed in jeans and show logo shirts.
Sweeney Todd is an opera when…you have tickets as part of your season subscription. It’s a musical when you have tickets because you student rushed them on the day of the performance.
Sweeney Todd is an opera when…”The Worst Pies in London” is an aria. It’s a musical when “Worst Pies” is a first act number that establishes character.
Sweeney Todd is an opera when…you wonder why the soprano bows before the mezzo. It’s a musical when the leading lady is a mezzo and therefore has a higher bow.
Sweeney Todd is an opera when…the leading lady dies. It’s a musical when the leading man dies.