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The wordsmiths behind the great works of musical theatre usually get less credit than the composers. But if it weren’t for great writers, we wouldn’t have 'The Marriage of Figaro', 'Carmen' or 'The Rake’s Progress'. So here are ten of the best librettists.
The most important writer of opera seria – ‘serious’ Italian opera – Pietro Trapassi, known as Metastasio, was one of the most celebrated librettists in Europe. His words were set by numerous composers, including Caldara and Hasse. Well-suited for virtuoso sopranos and castrati, Metastasio’s words fell out of fashion as opera moved towards the more psychological interests of Gluck and Mozart.
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