Larger context for LACK in Corpus USbrown_UKbncw/UK_bncw.txt
And how does a good libretto from a bad one?
The answer is in the music.
You can go so far as to say that any words which produce good music constitute a good libretto.
But the example of Handel's operas and Weber's Euryanthe give one pause.
The convention of the Handelian opera seria has corroded so that today we find it frigid entertainment, but was it ever a satisfactory dramatic form, with its succession of da capo arias, its wastelands of recitative, and its statuesque indifference to tension, beyond conspiracy and complication?
It produced concerts of fine music, and, sometimes as when Handel was drawn to "magic" subjects -- his Ariosto operas, Alcina, Ariodante and Orlando -- words of striking, if not truly dramatic, impact.
lack > But it lack ed the breath of life, which real and worldly characters give to musical drama.
Handel's Giulio Cesare(Julius Caesar) is dead in the way that Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is not, even though the Handel work offers a story as racy as Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra.
The librettist's convention has spoiled it.
So we must change our definition to read -- a good opera book is one which produces good dramatic music.
Perhaps this is what is wrong with Euryanthe.