Nicolae Bretan (25 March 1887 – 1 December 1968) was a Romanian Lieder and Opera Composer, Baritone, Stage Director, Conductor, and Administrator of the Opera and Theatre House.

Bretan was born in Năsăud. He studied in ClujVienna and Budapest before becoming one of the pioneers of Romanian opera - his opera Luceafărul (1921) is cited as the first opera in Romanian.

Bretan also composed over 200 lieder.

In 1944, Bretan wife's family, who were Jewish, were transported to the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz and murdered.

Refusing to become a member of the Romanian Communist Party in 1948, he was not favoured by the Romanian communist regime, who treated the composer as a "non person". He died in Cluj, aged 81.