School of Modern Languages

News Items

Opera Translation Workshop 2018: The Marriage of Figaro

The 2018 edition of the annual SML-Department of Music Opera Translation Workshop, with Martin Pickard (Opera North) and baritone Patrick Owston, explored the translation of opera into English using two arias from The Marriage of Figaro.

In this interactive workshop, well-attended as ever, Martin Pickard (Opera North) explored practical and artistic issues around the translation of opera. The session started with an outline of general principles; following this, two arias from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786) were used to illustrate historical and contemporary approaches to translation. Baritone Patrick Owston, who has just finished his second year on a Music degree at Newcastle and is a Bass choral scholar at Newcastle Cathedral, sang the arias in their original Italian as well as in their various English translations.

In the last part of the workshop participants were invited to devise their own translation of one of the arias and to hear it performed. The audience of translators and musicians (and musician-translators) very much enjoyed this exercise, as always!

The workshop can be seen on YouTube here. We very much look forward to next year's edition of this deservedly long-running tradition!

Martin Pickard, Patrick Owston and Figaro

published on: 6 August 2018