March 28, 2019

How can I understand an opera that’s sung in a foreign language?

If you're at a performance at Lyric and most other major opera companies worldwide, there will be translations projected above the stage, allowing you to follow along during the performance, literally line by line.

If you're sitting at home listening, you can follow along with the libretto (text). A great many complete operas albums include the full libretto and translation. If there's no libretto included or you're listening online, just Google the name of the opera with the word "translation" and you should be able to find what you need online—especially if it's a comparatively well-known work.

If you're streaming online through Lyric you will be able to turn on english subtitles.

Photos: Kyle Flubacker, Lyric Opera