In Review: Translating for Singing: The Theory, Art and Craft of Translating Lyrics

Reviewed by Rick Davis

My own modest proposal for its dissemination would be to find a way to place a copy on the desk of every opera house management, on the office chair of every Conservatory dean, opera director, and voice teacher in the UK and USA, and of course in the hands of anyone who is brave enough to engage in the traitorous act of opera translation.

Hinkemann

By Ernst Toller
Translated by Peter Worstman

There are certain merciless works of dramatic art that dispense with cultural niceties and strike the spectator/reader where it hurts most, leaving you staggering and gasping for air.

iPlay

By Bernhard Studlar
Translated by Henning Bochert

One hundred ‘apps’ (like the numbers in Greenaway’s film) throughout the play lead from nowhere to nowhere (but not to anyone being drowned), there are no characters doing anything, and no meaning coagulates around any plot. Even the narrator disappears, and all that remains – as the playwright points out in his preface – is text.

Citizen Schippel

By Carl Sternheim
Adapted by David Copelin and John Van Burek
From a literal translation by Lascelle Wingate

One night last month took care of that. We were alone. He was my universe; I was happy, and full of desire. If he’d said one word, made one gesture, I’d have given myself to him. But the idiot just sat there, his big calf’s eyes bugging out of his head.