Libretto: the text of an opera, musical or operetta that includes spoken dialogue and song lyrics.
Sometimes a composer writes both the music and libretto. Other times, however, both artists come together to create an entirely original work.
Early Life and Education
John libretti’s early life was typical for his professional middle class peers. He attended various private schools, some of which he still fondly remembers today. Additionally, he studied literary criticism with an emphasis on meterological and meteratic literature.
He traveled extensively around the United States and Europe, authoring several books on literature and music – particularly The Oxford Book of American Poetry which became a worldwide bestseller. Additionally, he briefly ventured into operatic writing four works and co-writing one with Paul Salerni; additionally he was part of the winning team in Rome’s largest poetry competition, Templo di Santa Croce. For three years he served as California State Poet Laureate as well.
John has penned over two and a half dozen volumes of poetry, along with prose works and collaborative efforts. Moreover, he has served on multiple journal and prize committees throughout his career and continues to mentor young poets.
He has also performed widely as a composer, creating music for operas and musicals of various genres such as ballets, chamber music pieces and choral works. In 1958 he founded the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto Italy followed by its American counterpart: Spoleto Festival USA in 1977.
In 1992, Libretti was found guilty of violating the “kingpin” statute for running a criminal drug enterprise, selling spice (an ingredient made up of plant material and man-made chemicals that is touted as a legal alternative to marijuana), and violating multiple conditions of his court-ordered supervised release. Based on these facts, the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness recommends that his application be disapproved and forever bar him from applying to practice law in Ohio.
Achievements and Honors
John libretti has had a long and illustrious career in the arts. His French horn playing can be heard on classic recordings such as Miles Davis’ albums, while his writing has also gained widespread recognition.
He is the author of numerous award-winning works, such as Study for the World’s Body (nominated for a National Book Award), The Auroras (2012) and The Last Troubadour: New and Selected Poems (2017). Additionally, he published Where the Angels Come Toward Us, an anthology of essays, interviews and reviews; plus The Shore, his choral symphony.
He has been a long-standing member of Northeastern’s Italian Studies program for many years, winning its most coveted honor, the William Weaver Prize in Italian Studies – a $1,000 cash award. Additionally, he frequently speaks at academic gatherings about his translations of modern Italian literature.
John Libretti is an acclaimed author and writer, having published novels, short stories, poetry, criticism, book reviews and more. Additionally, his works have been featured on television, radio and stage.
He has collaborated with composers Clint Borzoni, Michael Vegas Mussman, Robert Paterson and Tony Solitro on operas, musicals, plays concerts and ballets.
He is currently working on Ghosts, an evening of three musical chapters. Eden follows a story about an art collector whose collection of paintings are cursed to kill those who touch them; Dormir delves into the power of ancient spiritual practices when they conflict with Christian beliefs; House examines trauma’s haunting effect on the mind.