libretto

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libretto (It.). Little book. The text of a vocal work, particularly opera. Author is ‘librettist’. First known was for Peri's Dafne (1594–8). Among famous librettists have been Metastasio, da Ponte, Scribe, Romani, Piave, Illica, Gilbert, Boito, Hofmannsthal, Auden and Kallman, and Myfanwy Piper. Some composers have written own libs., e.g. Wagner, Leoncavallo, Delius, and Tippett.

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li·bret·to / ləˈbretō/ • n. (pl. -bret·ti / -ˈbretē/ or -bret·tos ) the text of an opera or other long vocal work. DERIVATIVES: li·bret·tist / -ˈbretist/ n.

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libretto Text of an opera or operetta. From 1597, libretti were printed to commemorate performances; by the mid-18th century, public audiences used them to follow the opera's story.

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libretto XVIII. — It., dim. of libro book.

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