Felice Romani was an Italian poet and scholar of literature and mythology who wrote many libretti for the opera composers Donizetti and Bellini. Romani was considered the finest Italian librettist between Metastasio and Boito.
Born Giuseppe Felice Romani to a bourgeois family in Genoa, he studied law and literature in Pisa and Genoa. At the University of Genoa he translated French literature and, with a colleague, prepared a six-volume dictionary of mythology and antiquities, including the history of the Celts in Italy. Romani's expertise in French and antiquity is reflected in the libretti he wrote; the majority are based on French literature and many, such as Norma, use mythological sources.
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