Émile de Najac

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Comte Émile de Najac (December 1828 – 11 April 1889) was a French librettist. He was a prolific writer during the Second Empire and early part of the Third Republic, supplying plays and opéra comique librettos, many in one act.


Émile de Najac was born in Lorient, France, the descendant of naval commander and bonapartist Benoît Georges de Najac. He died in Paris aged 60 years.[1] His son Raoul Charles Eugène was also a writer for the stage.[2]


With Paul Ferrier he wrote the libretto for Lecocq’s La vie mondaine (1885) and with Paul Burani the libretto for Emmanuel Chabrier’s Le roi malgré lui (1887).[3]

For Émile Jonas he provided the libretto to the opéras bouffe Estelle et Némourin (1882, with Henri Bocage) and Le Premier baiser (1883, with Raoul Toché). For Louis Deffès, Victorien Sardou and de Najac wrote the words for Les Noces de Fernande (1878).

The play Divorçons (1880), in collaboration with Sardou, survives in the French stage repertory to this day, and formed the basis for Ernst Lubitsch’s 1941 film That Uncertain Feeling. Apart from Sardou, de Najac collaborated with Scribe, About and Millaud.


Films based on the play Divorçons[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary notice from 1889
  2. ^ Listing of de Najac family
  3. ^ Smith C. Émile de Najac. In: New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997.