Originally Posted by Tnilsson
Actually, my point was the opposite: I favor changing the language of operas as subtitles are seldom very good
You can make the same argument about spoken language translations
and I think being able to understand the words leads to a more immersive experience for everyone in the audience who is not fortunate enough to speak the original language.
Couldn't agree more.
And changing the language can be done very well; I think Sir Charles Mackerras, for example, has done a marvelous job with his English-language versions of Mozart's operas.
Then why can't subtitles be "very good?"
As you seem to be highly critical of Branagh's Magic Flute
I am critical of any spoken language translation other than what the composer used.
Because it isn't
about the words of the language in the actual original manuscript, it's their SOUND.
Just as Composers composed differently for various instruments, which was dependent on their unique sounds, so did they compose specifically for the sounds of the words
The singers are instruments too and are treated as such by opera composers.
which alternate opera on DVD or blu-ray would you recommend as the best to introduce people to opera who claim to dislike it? I have not seen many such people willing to pay $60-$250 for an opera ticket just to prove to themselves whether they like opera or not, so that's not much of an option.
I don't know what the answer is to this....
Ultimately, it is the music
that counts in an opera.
If someone doesn't know the EXACT meaning of the words being sung at any given moment, all is not lost.
Either one likes the MUSIC or simply does not.
In my experience at least, a comic opera is best. And it's all the better if they can understand the singing (as too many people won't even go to a regular foreign movie with subtitles). Branagh's Magic Flute seems to meet that bill for me. But you may have found a better choice to use in introducing people to opera. If so, I'd love to hear it as we host regular opera movie nights and always have people who want to give it a try. I'm always on the lookout for an accessible opera to show them (that won't bore or irritate the regular opera fans in our midst).
FWIW, which isn't much, I think the late Mozart operas, Carmen, and some light fare with catchy tunes would work.
Also, something that doesn't require deep analysis (like Wagner, for example), doesn't have a lot supernatural Gods, and is relatively short in duration.Edited by oink - 6/13/13 at 5:16pm