Dynamic Duos You Should Know


Classical Academy | Composers

Many operas, operettas and musicals are the fruit of a prosperous collaboration between two individuals - most frequently a lyricist (or librettist) and a composer. Here are some dynamic duos you should know:

 

 

Bellini & Romani:19th century Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini worked with librettist Felice Romani on six of his nine operas, including the remarkable I Capuleti ed i Montecchi based on the story of Romeo and Juliet.

  

 

Gilbert & Sullivan: This extraordinary pairing of British conductor and composer Sir Arthur Sullivan with librettist Sir William Schwenk Gilbert established the genre of the English operetta.

 

 

Rogers & Hammerstein: Oscar Hammerstein II joined forces with Richard Charles Rodgers on when Lorenz Hart passed away. Composer Rodgers, whose musical comedies had already achieved great success, went on to write classics such as Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Cinderella with Hammerstein.

 

Britten & Auden: Whilst working for the General Post Office in 1935 Benjamin Britten began composing music for films, collaborating with the poet W. H. Auden. Britten's Hymn to Saint Cecilia set some of Auden's poems to music.

 

 

Strouse & Adams: Composer Charles Strouse wrote the scores for several Broadway musicals from the 1960s to the 90s. Collaborating with lyricist Lee Adams, he produced Golden Boy and Bye Bye Birdie among others.

 

 

Weill & Brecht: German composer Kurt Julian Weill famously collaborated with writer Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht in the early 20th century to produce a new type of opera. They used cutting wit to address social issues of the time.