Chapter published in:Opera in Translation: Unity and diversity
Edited by Adriana Şerban and Kelly Kar Yue Chan
[Benjamins Translation Library 153] 2020
► pp. 35–51
Surtitles and the multi-semiotic balance
Can over-information kill opera?
When surtitles were first introduced, in 1982, they were intended to make opera accessible to a larger audience. They fulfilled the basic requirement of maximum comprehension, minimum distraction. In the intervening years, however, there has been an increase in the quantity of displayed text so that the titles have become distracting and intrusive. In my contribution, I explore the reasons for this and discuss why I believe there is a need to put surtitles into their perspective, within the multi-semiotic balance of lyric theatre performances.
Keywords: surtitles, lyric theatre, semiotic balance, libretto
Published online: 29 October 2020
n.d. “The Joy of Opera. The Art and Craft of Opera Subtitling and Surtitling,” http://www2.port.ac.uk/media/contacts-and-departments/slas/events/tr08-burton.pdf, last accessed 23 March 2020.