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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.
Auden wrote the words for 'Paul Bunyan' by Benjamin Britten, for Nabokov's Love's Labours Lost', Stravinsky's 'The Rake's Progress', and Hans Werner Henze's 'Elegy for Young Lovers' and 'The Bassarids.' He also worked on a new translation of Mozart's 'The Magic Flute', with its scenes reordered for greater dramatic coherence and added dialogue. W.H. Auden (left) is pictured with Britten in New York, 1941.
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