Original language

I've always preferred operas to be performed in the original language: English translations are frequently awkward (and often not fully audible anyway), and there are cases where a translation can't really maintain the spirit of the original: a case in point being Brecht's Die Dreigroschenoper, where English can't convey the sour snarl of the German original.

My late friend Peter Copeland was a brilliant audio engineer, but was subject to occasional eccentricities (most of my friends are, after all most of us worked for the BBC). One was his belief that operas should be performed in the original language - by which he meant the language of the country in which the action took place. So La Boheme should be in French, not Italian, La Fanciulla del West in American English, and so on. An interesting concept: however, he did admit that it raised difficulties with Turandot and Madama Butterfly.

Posted: Wed - April 23, 2008 at 10:34 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM