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#654998 - 05/29/07 10:18 AM Translated Opera libretti !!
La Sylphide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Egypt
Have you ever attended "Le Nozze di Figaro" sung in English? or French?...etc.
Well, I've heard it in Arabic (No Kidding!)what's worse, I was not admitted to leave the theatre

Translating opera libretti is a fashion here in Egypt, and I'm not sure if it is so elsewhere..anyways, they argue that it's one way of luring more audience, to introduce this "fine art" to the masses!

But doesn't that ruin the entire opera? I believe diction and notes are one entity,fused together,and of course the translated libretti are subject to shifting syllables and changing words.

I would very much appreciate all your comments upon the topic.... \:\)
Thanks
_________________________
Sarah

"Time is still the best critic,and patience,the best teacher." Chopin

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#654999 - 05/29/07 07:12 PM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
PerformingYak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 205
Loc: Lightning Ridge, Australia
I've often heard some of the Italian operas translated into english and I just don't think it sounds right, the flow changes completely... as for arabic....??? ???..... I can only imagine. It could be very interesting though \:\)
_________________________
"Work hard and strive to reach the power of bland"

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#655000 - 05/30/07 08:48 AM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
La Sylphide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Egypt
Thanks PerformingYak, so sweet of you to reply.

Well,those Arabic performances were far from "interesting"...as you can picture soloists stifling with words and the music distorted.
_________________________
Sarah

"Time is still the best critic,and patience,the best teacher." Chopin

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#655001 - 05/30/07 08:57 AM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
What was the general reaction of the crowd? Do you think most people enjoyed it?

Did it attract different crowds, or was it really just the same people who would go and hear it in Italian anyway?
_________________________
Sam

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#655002 - 05/30/07 09:20 AM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
La Sylphide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Egypt
I usually read the libretto before attending an opera,but of course not all people have time to do that.So, complementary to translating liberetti is trying to read the synopsis in pamphlets distributed before the show,so you can cope up with the dramatic events.

Any other suggestions?
_________________________
Sarah

"Time is still the best critic,and patience,the best teacher." Chopin

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#655003 - 05/30/07 09:36 AM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17915
Loc: Victoria, BC
In many North American opera houses, the brief trend for singing operas in English has largely been reversed by the incorporation into the opera house of super-titles. That is, translations in English of the text that is sung in the original language are projected on a screen above the stage. Those who don't know the opera can follow the translation; those who do, needn't bother. These super-titles are no more distracting, to my mind, than watching a movie with sub-titles; perhaps even less distracting since the titles are above the stage.

It seems to be a reasonable solution to the quest for more patrons without compromising the original. I fully agree that most of the great opera composers had a knowledge of how music and text were inextricably bound together; to destroy that bond by changing the language is more that just artistic licence; it is counter-productive.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#655004 - 05/30/07 09:36 AM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
La Sylphide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Egypt
Pianojerome: there were very few in these translated performances.It's worth mentioning that opera Aida is performed every year in Italian...the hall is always complete!
so you can see how people shrink from such futile attempts.

Thank you for pointing that out \:\)
_________________________
Sarah

"Time is still the best critic,and patience,the best teacher." Chopin

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#655005 - 05/30/07 09:48 AM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
La Sylphide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Egypt
I totally agree with you BruceD!
each year opera Aida (they love that one in Egypt) is performed with super-titles...I like it that way, especially when I book my tickets earlier and take front seats ...so I even don't take notice of the screen.

Next month they'll be showing Verdi's
La Traviata, looking forward to the super-titles ;\)

Thanks a lot! all your comments are very illuminating.
_________________________
Sarah

"Time is still the best critic,and patience,the best teacher." Chopin

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#655006 - 06/16/07 12:22 PM Re: Translated Opera libretti !!
La Sylphide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Egypt
---------------
_________________________
Sarah

"Time is still the best critic,and patience,the best teacher." Chopin

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