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List of Famous Librettists

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Updated June 8, 2017 9.7k views 340 items

List of famous librettists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top librettists in the world? This includes the most prominent librettists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable librettists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic librettists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned librettists.

List people range from Howard Ashman to W. H. Auden.

From reputable, prominent, and well known librettists to the lesser known librettists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the librettist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous librettists ever?" and "What are the names of famous librettists?" then you're in the right place. (340 items)
Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (; US: ; Spanish: [miˈɣel de θeɾˈβantes saaˈβeðɾa]; 29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616 NS) was a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest ...more

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#11 of 291 The Best Novelists of All Time #30 of 182 The Greatest Playwrights in History

Jean-Jacques Rousseau is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (UK: , US: ; French: [ʒɑ̃ˈʒak ʁuˈso]; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the ...more

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#114 of 2,828 The Most Influential People of All Time #147 of 291 The Best Novelists of All Time The Best Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes

Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Librettists
François-Marie Arouet (French: [fʁɑ̃swa maʁi aʁwɛ]; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (; also US: , French: [vɔltɛːʁ]), was a French Enlightenment ...more

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#117 of 452 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person #53 of 291 The Best Novelists of All Time The Best Voltaire Quotes

Gertrude Stein is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. Born in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh and raised in Oakland, ...more

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#651 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #12 of 33 What The People Behind The Books You Read In High School Actually Look Like The Best Gertrude Stein Quotes

Anthony Burgess is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Librettists
John Anthony Burgess Wilson, (; 25 February 1917 – 22 November 1993), who published under the name Anthony Burgess, was an English writer and composer. Although Burgess was predominantly a comic ...more

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#83 of 218 The Best Science-Fiction Authors #36 of 108 The Best Catholic Authors The Best Anthony Burgess Books

W. H. Auden is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Wystan Hugh Auden (; 21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973) was an English-American poet. Auden's poetry was noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with politics, ...more

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#876 of 2,828 The Most Influential People of All Time #47 of 373 The Greatest Poets of All Time The Best W. H. Auden Quotes

Ralph Vaughan Williams ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams ( (listen); 12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral ...more
Craig Lucas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Craig Lucas (born April 30, 1951) is an American playwright, screenwriter, theatre director, musical actor, and film director.
Peter Pears is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Sir Peter Neville Luard Pears ( PEERZ; 22 June 1910 – 3 April 1986) was an English tenor. His career was closely associated with the composer Benjamin Britten, his personal and professional ...more
Howard Ashman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Howard Elliott Ashman (May 17, 1950 – March 14, 1991) was an American playwright and lyricist. He collaborated with Alan Menken on several works and is most widely known for several animated ...more
Stephen Spender is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Sir Stephen Harold Spender (28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995) was an English poet, novelist, and essayist who concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle in his work. He was ...more

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#328 of 373 The Greatest Poets of All Time #13 of 24 Famous Poets You Didn't Know Were Bisexual

Terrence McNally is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Terrence McNally (born November 3, 1938) was an American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. McNally has been described as "a probing and enduring dramatist" and "one of the ...more

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#87 of 256 The Best Gay Authors #7 of 45 Celebrities Who Died In 2020 #9 of 48 Every Famous Person Who Has Tested Positive For Coronavirus

Franco Zeffirelli is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Gian Franco Corsi "Franco" Zeffirelli (Italian: [fraŋko ddzeffiˈrɛlli]; 12 February 1923 – 15 June 2019) was an Italian director and producer of operas, films and television. He was ...more
Aleksandr Pushkin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (English: ; Russian: Александр Сергеевич Пушкин, tr. Aleksándr Sergéyevich Púshkin, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr sʲɪrˈɡʲe(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ ˈpuʂkʲɪn] (listen); 6 ...more

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#59 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #263 of 2,828 The Most Influential People of All Time

E. M. Forster is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Edward Morgan Forster (1 January 1879 – 7 June 1970) was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. Many of his novels examined class difference and hypocrisy, including A ...more

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#127 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #1,210 of 2,828 The Most Influential People of All Time

Alan Jay Lerner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Alan Jay Lerner (August 31, 1918 – June 14, 1986) was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, and later Burton Lane, he created some of the world's most ...more

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#51 of 72 The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) #16 of 39 Famous Hasty Pudding Club Members

R. Murray Schafer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Raymond Murray Schafer, CC is a Canadian composer, writer, music educator and environmentalist perhaps best known for his World Soundscape Project, concern for acoustic ecology, and his book The ...more

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#191 of 362 The Best Classical Composers #99 of 197 The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists

Luigi Pirandello is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Luigi Pirandello (Italian: [luˈiːdʒi piranˈdɛllo]; 28 June 1867 – 10 December 1936) was an Italian dramatist, novelist, poet, and short story writer whose greatest contributions were his plays. ...more
Warren Casey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Warren Casey (April 20, 1935 – November 8, 1988) was an American theatre composer, lyricist, writer, and actor. He was the writer and composer, with Jim Jacobs, of the stage musical Grease.
Richard Brinsley Sherida... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (30 October 1751 – 7 July 1816) was an Irish satirist, a playwright, poet, and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He is known for his plays ...more
Gian Carlo Menotti is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Gian Carlo Menotti (, Italian: [dʒaŋ ˈkarlo meˈnɔtti]; July 7, 1911 – February 1, 2007) was an Italian-American composer and librettist. Although he often referred to himself as an American ...more
Bertolt Brecht is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (, German: [ˈbɛɐ̯tɔlt ˈbʁɛçt] (listen); 10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956), known professionally as Bertolt Brecht, was a German theatre practitioner, ...more

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#293 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #22 of 182 The Greatest Playwrights in History

Oscar Hammerstein II is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Ritter von Hammerstein II (; July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and (usually uncredited) theatre director of musicals for ...more
Sylvano Bussotti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Sylvano Bussotti (born 1 October 1931) is an Italian composer of contemporary music whose work is unusually notated and often creates special problems of interpretation.
Chester Kallman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Librettists
Chester Simon Kallman (January 7, 1921 – January 18, 1975) was an American poet, librettist, and translator, best known for collaborating with W. H. Auden on opera librettos for Igor Stravinsky ...more