Edith Hall, Research Professor in Classics and in Drama & Theatre, Royal Holloway, was a guest on The Verb this evening. She talked about the Chorus in Greek drama. Two points she made that the chorus always survives, although main characters may be killed, and that the chorus are lower class.
She ran through the ages following the Greeks, mentioning mediaeval choruses of angels in miracle plays, Milton, Shelley, Thomas Hardy and his villagers, and other more modern examples. The North American musical with its chorus is the direct descendant of Greek drama.
To hear this programme, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/listen/index.shtml and click on The Verb.