Monday, July 14, 2014

Beautiful Language

It was strange and exciting last year to hear a canonic opera sung in Japanese.  Throughout the entire run of Barber of Seville I watched the super titles on the screen and tried to make sense of what I was hearing.  I was able to piece together a fair amount of the action over the course of two weeks., and learn the pronunciation of quite a few kanji.

However, this year, for whatever reason, Cosi fan Tutte will be sung in Italian.  I suppose it makes sense since that is the language in which it was written.  However, I can't help but be a little disappointed.  It was fun to hear an opera sung in Japanese, something that will likely not present itself very often after my time in Japan.  And it was fun to use the 3 hours to practice the language.  However this year presents a double language challenge with sung Italian and written Japanese supertitles.  My brain computes this simply as being unintelligible.  It tries to make the sounds it hears into the words it sees, neither of which has any really meaning.  Can I use one language I don't know to learn another?  The next two weeks will be an experiment.  Or I may just stare at the beautiful iridescent fabric of the costumes on the stage while I count my rests.  So many ways to enjoy an opera.

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