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A stock character in opera, theater, and literature. She is a girl or young woman who is endearingly wholesome and innocent. Very similar to the girl next door.

She is generally portrayed as sweet, gentle, virtuous, beautiful, demure, with the wide-eyed innocence of a child and she is very often naive. She is often the victim of the libertine, whom she may have mistaken for the hero. Often she still lives with her parents, owing to her youth and naivete.
She is usually the foil for the dangerously seductive femme fatale.
She is often involved in a romantic subplot, usually with the boy next door and the romance is typically innocent and chaste.
The ingenue is typically played by a lyric soprano in opera and musicals.
The ingenue includes the following characters:

Joanna in Sweeney Todd
Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz
Giselle in Enchanted
Snow White
Cosette in Les Miserables
Sandy in Grease
Maria in West Side Story
Christine in Phantom of the Opera
Ophelia in Hamlet
Juliet in Romeo and Juliet
Ariel in The Little Mermaid
Belle in Beauty and the Beast
Penny in Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Mimi in La Boheme
Tatiana in Eugene Onegin
by Lorelili July 06, 2011
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A female character in drama or literature. She is a sweet, pretty, if somewhat naive, young woman. To our modern eyes, she's often seen as this meek little mouse.

The ingenue is played by a light soprano in opera or musicals.
Judy Garland's protrayal of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz is the epitome of an ingenue.
by Lorelili October 29, 2005
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