In this interview, one of my favorite composers (and my favorite male vocalist)--Rufus Wainwright--explains that he has "leaned on" opera for various tricks which he has applied to his pop, piano-oriented songwriting. Do any opera fans (familiar with his music or not) have any idea which aspects of opera composition he might be referring to?
I would like to add that one his genre's on wikipedia include "operatic pop" and "baroque pop" . . . not sure what those are.
Here's a sentence on his interest in opera:
Wainwright became interested in opera during his adolescent years, and the genre strongly influences his music. (For instance, the song "Barcelona" features lyrics from the libretto of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, Macbeth.) During this time, he became interested in Édith Piaf, Al Jolson, and Judy Garland. As a youth he trained at Interlochen Arts Camp, studying classical music.