Saturday, November 7, 2009

Translation


Last night I attended the Opera with Mr. Mead. I was really looking forward to going since it's been ages since I've been to one, and this was Orphee by Phillip Glass. Hello!?

It was outstanding. Really beautiful music, but of course you expected that, a stunning set and a wonderfully told story. You should see it if you can. I highly recommend it. But to see a more eloquently put review go to Mead's site.

And this got me thinking about translation, because this version does something different than other versions of the Eurydice/Orpheus story. I'm not going to tell you, you have to go see it.

I took a translation class in college with Dr. London (yes that was his name and he lived in London..hehe). I adored this class because he was so knowledgeable and spoke like 7 different languages. But the basic idea of the class was learning how different people used translation from the native language to a foreign language or from music to text or visa versa to highlight words that are most important to them. Translators select the version that they believe is what the original author meant when they wrote those words, but this can vary from translator to translator. And your interpretation of their translation could alter your understanding completely.

This is different than adaptation. For example, what Chris Murray is doing with Hamlet at CoHo productions is adaptation. He is using Shakespeare's words, but he's selecting what he needs to tell the story he wants to tell. I am very excited about this upcoming production and even more proud that they have managed to raise the money needed for the set. Bravo!

And all this is inspiring me to find my next project, whatever that may be. I feel a bit stuck at the moment. Not exactly sure where/what to start. But I'll get there and I'll let you know when I do. Right now it's nice to relax and take in the scene.

2 comments:

Mead said...

Hey, thanks for linking to my Orphee review, MKG. It was fun seeing this with you -- too many other people we know are full of "considerations."

Only problem: I live in fear of the day when someone sez, "How sweet, you brought your granddaughter!"

Oscar Wilde Glee Club said...

PORTLAND OPERA is mounting GLASS????


Woah.