Gustave Vaëz (1812–62) was a Belgian playwright, librettist and translator of opera librettos. He is best known today as the joint author (with French writer and theatre manager Alphonse Royer) of the librettos for Donizetti’s L’Ange de Nisida and its better-known revision La Favorite, and for Verdi’s Jérusalem.
Vaëz was born in Brussels. He studied law, gaining a doctorate at Belgian’s State University of Leuven. However, he had no desire to work as a lawyer, and instead turned his attention to the theatre. His first plays were produced in Brussels (1829–34). He subsequently moved to Paris, where he became a close collaborator with Royer. Together they wrote plays, original opera librettos and three arrangements of Italian librettos: Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (as Lucie de Lammermoor) and Don Pasquale, and Rossini’s Otello. Vaëz also provided the libretto for Donizetti’s comic opera Rita, ou Le mari battu, wrote his own plays and collaborated on further opera librettos with Eugène Scribe and with Victorien Sardou.
Vaëz was Royer’s deputy director first at the Théâtre de l’Odéon in Paris and later (until 1860) at the Paris Opéra. He was awarded the Belgian Ordre de Léopold (1846) and made a member of the Légion d’honneur in 1856.