Larger context for LACK in Corpus USbrown_UKbncw/UK_bncw.txt
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.
But it lacked 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.
Romantic attitudes were natural to writers and composers of the early 19th century, but the distance between attitudinising in words based on a great dramatic notion (Der Freischutz) and hollow fustian ( Euryanthe) is all- important.
After this preamble, the question is, where did Benjamin Britten, the latest if not the last of the great composers of opera in a line stretching over three and a half centuries, look for inspiration to invent his masterpieces?