And my description of Boheme was imprecise; obviously it has arias! But they don't have repetitions of the lines of text, and the orchestra keeps moving on to new moods and thoughts (none of the pages of oom-pah-pah that can put a kid off Verdi at first). Even the Britten and Wagner have solo passages, for that matter. But the whole thing played in my mind as theater in a way that I understand.
Mind you, I came to love Mozart and Verdi inordinately! But I wasn't yet used to the musical conventions. (In Figaro, the first I tried, it's maybe 20 minutes before we get to the first real melodic solo moment as I then understood it (Se vuol ballare), and there's an awful lot of chattering-with-harpsichord on the way there that my young mind kept weighing against the more eventful in-between stuff from the other composers I knew.)