Libretto is the literary framework of a theatre performance. It represents a concise, yet detailed, summary of the show, written in close collaboration with the composer and arranged in accordance with the musical score and rules of musical composition. This word, meaning the diminutive form of “book”, was derived from Italian language after Italians started making booklets for operas in which they described their detailed plot.
As a rule, a literary work, a legend or a historical event lies at the core of a libretto, although exceptional cases might feature an original story. Nevertheless, what we see at the stage often differs from the literary basis. This is exactly what the librettist’s job is – to find the most interesting part among the plotlines of the work and to fantasize in order to create captivating characters with interesting traits only using the music.