Accessible opera: overcoming linguistic and sensorial barriers
Perspectives. Studies in Translatology
Year of publication
The desire to make media available for all has been rapidly accepted and implemented by most European countries. Opera, as one of the many audiovisual representations, also falls under the category of production which needs to be made accessible and this article aims to analyse how opera has gone through a complete transformation to become a cultural event for all, overcoming not only linguistic but also sensorial barriers. The first part of the article analyses the various forms of translation associated with opera and the main challenges they entail. The second presents different systems used to make opera accessible to the sensorially challenged, highlighting their main difficulties. Examples from research carried out at the Barcelona's Liceu opera house are presented to illustrate various modalities, especially audio description. All in all, it is our aim to show how translated-related processes have made it possible to open opera to a wider audience despite some initial reluctance.