Libretto

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A libretto (lit. "booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical.wikipedia
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Opera

opera singeroperasoperatic
"booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The French writers' duo Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy wrote a large number of opera and operetta libretti for the likes of Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet.
Such a "work" (the literal translation of "opera") is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet.

Operetta

operettasoperattaopérette
"booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The French writers' duo Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy wrote a large number of opera and operetta libretti for the likes of Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet.
Normally some of the libretto of an operetta is spoken rather than sung.

Pietro Metastasio

MetastasioMetastasianMETASTASIO, L'ABATE PIETRO
Metastasio (1698–1782) (real name Pietro Trapassi) was one of the most highly regarded librettists in Europe.
Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi, better known by his pseudonym of Pietro Metastasio (3 January 1698 – 12 April 1782), was an Italian poet and librettist, considered the most important writer of opera seria libretti.

Musical theatre

musicalmusicalsmusical comedy
"booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical.
The book or script of a musical refers to the story, character development and dramatic structure, including the spoken dialogue and stage directions, but it can also refer to the dialogue and lyrics together, which are sometimes referred to as the libretto (Italian for "little book").

Eugène Scribe

ScribeEugene ScribeE. Scribe
Eugène Scribe was one of the most prolific librettists of the 19th century, providing the words for works by Meyerbeer (with whom he had a lasting collaboration), Auber, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi.
Augustin Eugène Scribe (24 December 179120 February 1861) was a French dramatist and librettist.

Giacomo Meyerbeer

MeyerbeerMeyerbeer, GiacomoG. Meyerbeer
Eugène Scribe was one of the most prolific librettists of the 19th century, providing the words for works by Meyerbeer (with whom he had a lasting collaboration), Auber, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi.
These were employed in the context of sensational and melodramatic libretti created by Eugène Scribe and were enhanced by the up-to-date theatre technology of the Paris Opéra.

Oratorio

oratoriosoratoriumoratoria
"booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical.
They began to publish the librettos of their oratorios as they did for their operas.

Henri Meilhac

Meilhac
The French writers' duo Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy wrote a large number of opera and operetta libretti for the likes of Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet.
Henri Meilhac (23 February 1830 – 6 July 1897) was a French dramatist and opera librettist.

Arrigo Boito

BoitoArrigo Boïto
Arrigo Boito, who wrote libretti for, among others, Giuseppe Verdi and Amilcare Ponchielli, also composed two operas of his own.
Arrigo Boito (24 February 1842 – 10 June 1918) (whose original name was Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito and who wrote essays under the anagrammatic pseudonym of Tobia Gorrio), was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, librettist and composer, best known today for his libretti, especially those for Giuseppe Verdi's operas Otello and Falstaff, and his own opera Mefistofele.

Richard Wagner

WagnerWagnerianWagner’s
Richard Wagner is perhaps most famous in this regard, with his transformations of Germanic legends and events into epic subjects for his operas and music dramas.
Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works.

Les Troyens

The TrojansLes Troyens à CarthageCassandra
Hector Berlioz, too, wrote the libretti for two of his best-known works, La Damnation de Faust and Les Troyens.
The libretto was written by Berlioz himself from Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid; the score was composed between 1856 and 1858.

Georges Bizet

BizetGeorge BizetG. Bizet
The French writers' duo Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy wrote a large number of opera and operetta libretti for the likes of Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet.
The challenge was to set the one-act libretto of Le docteur Miracle by Léon Battu and Ludovic Halévy.

Lyrics

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(This has often been the case with American popular song and musicals in the 20th century, as with Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's collaboration, although with the later team of Rodgers and Hammerstein the lyrics were generally written first.)
The words to an extended musical composition such as an opera are, however, usually known as a "libretto" and their writer, as a "librettist".

Wozzeck

opera of the same title
Alban Berg adapted Georg Büchner's play Woyzeck for the libretto of Wozzeck.
He adapted the libretto himself, retaining "the essential character of the play, with its many short scenes, its abrupt and sometimes brutal language, and its stark, if haunted, realism..."

Giacomo Puccini

PucciniG. PucciniPuccini’s
Some composers, such as Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Serov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Puccini and Mascagni wrote passages of music without text and subsequently had the librettist add words to the vocal melody lines.
Puccini and Fontana agreed to collaborate on an opera, for which Fontana would provide the libretto.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

MozartW. A. MozartW.A. Mozart
Another noted 18th-century librettist was Lorenzo Da Ponte, who wrote the libretti for three of Mozart's greatest operas, as well as for many other composers.
Around the end of 1785, Mozart moved away from keyboard writing and began his famous operatic collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte.

Ludovic Halévy

HalévyL. HalévyLudovic
The French writers' duo Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy wrote a large number of opera and operetta libretti for the likes of Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet.
During this period, they wrote the libretto to Carmen but it was a sideshow to their other work.

Porgy and Bess

The Gershwins' Porgy and BessPorgy & BessI Got Plenty o' Nuttin
Much of the recitatives of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, for instance, are merely DuBose and Dorothy Heyward's play Porgy set to music as written – in prose – with the lyrics of the arias, duets, trios and choruses written in verse.
Porgy and Bess is an English-language opera by the American composer George Gershwin, with a libretto written by author DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin.

Tannhäuser (opera)

TannhäuserTannhauserElisabeth
A famous case of the latter is Wagner's 1861 revision of the original 1845 Dresden version of his opera Tannhäuser for Paris.
Wagner wrote the prose draft of Tannhäuser between June and July 1842 and the libretto in April 1843.

Scenario

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A libretto is distinct from a synopsis or scenario of the plot, in that the libretto contains all the words and stage directions, while a synopsis summarizes the plot.
In the creation of an opera or ballet, a scenario is often developed initially to indicate how the original source, if any, is to be adapted and to summarize the aspects of character, staging, plot, etc. that can be expanded later in a fully developed libretto, or script.

I, Don Quixote

The libretto of a musical, if the musical is adapted from a play (or even a novel), may even borrow their source's original dialogue liberally – much as Oklahoma! used dialogue from Lynn Riggs's Green Grow the Lilacs, Carousel used dialogue from Ferenc Molnár's Liliom, My Fair Lady took most of its dialogue word-for-word from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Man of La Mancha was adapted from the 1959 television play I, Don Quixote, which supplied most of the dialogue, and the 1954 musical version of Peter Pan used J. M. Barrie's dialogue.
Written by Dale Wasserman, the play was converted by him ca. 1964 into the libretto for the stage musical Man of La Mancha, with songs by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion.

Lorenzo Da Ponte

Da PonteNational TheatreDaPonte
Another noted 18th-century librettist was Lorenzo Da Ponte, who wrote the libretti for three of Mozart's greatest operas, as well as for many other composers.
Lorenzo Da Ponte (10 March 1749 – 17 August 1838 ) was an Italian, later American opera librettist, poet and Roman Catholic priest.

Aria

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Much of the recitatives of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, for instance, are merely DuBose and Dorothy Heyward's play Porgy set to music as written – in prose – with the lyrics of the arias, duets, trios and choruses written in verse.
According to the playwright and librettist Carlo Goldoni, in his autobiography, The three principal personages of the drama ought to sing five arias each; two in the first act, two in the second, and one in the third.

Henry Purcell

PurcellPurcell, HenryPurcellian
Significant exceptions before 1800 can be found in Purcell's works, German opera of Hamburg during the Baroque, ballad opera and Singspiel of the 18th century, etc.
It was written to a libretto furnished by Nahum Tate, and performed in 1689 in cooperation with Josias Priest, a dancing master and the choreographer for the Dorset Garden Theatre.

Pelléas et Mélisande (opera)

Pelléas et MélisandeMélisandePelléas and Mélisande
In some cases, the operatic adaptation has become more famous than the literary text on which it was based, as with Claude Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande after a play by Maurice Maeterlinck.
The French libretto was adapted from Maurice Maeterlinck's symbolist play Pelléas et Mélisande.