Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Opera through shared eyes

Opera through shared eyes


New Zealand Opera will be even more accessible when the curtain goes up for a fresh new production of La traviata this week. The national opera company is offering an Audio Description service for people who are blind or vision impaired. It will also be a tactile experience, with facility for people to literally “get a feel” for costumes and scenery.

Users will receive headphones which deliver a carefully-scripted voiceover that describes what is happening on stage. In Audio Description the voiceover is live, in order to match exactly what is taking place. Two specially-trained ‘describers’ sit in a booth with microphones, taking turns to narrate what is taking place on stage, in clear, vivid language.

“Our voiceovers are very discreet, we do not talk over the singing or detract from the music,” says Nicola Owen, one of the describers. Nicola works for Auckland Live, which developed the service as part of its arts accessibility programme for patrons who are hearing or vision impaired.

Nicola and the second describer for La traviata, Edward Newborn, will develop their script by attending several rehearsals. The final version will go through a dry run using ‘test patrons’ both blind and sighted, who will provide feedback.

People who request the free service also get a chance to book a guided pre-performance ‘touch tour’ of the set. “This gives them a real sense of where the furniture is and pace the stage to work out the layout. They can also feel the costumes and the lavish material,” explains Nicola.

Arts Access Aotearoa is one of several organisations to applaud the innovation. Executive Director Richard Benge says: “Blind patrons who already love the music will have the opportunity to understand what others are seeing on stage – it’s about being able to enjoy the whole event.”

NZ Opera engages with a range of different communities to broaden the enjoyment and appeal of opera to an increasingly diverse audience. Its work with young people have seen it establish a dedicated Education Department.

NZO also uses surtitles - illuminated text appearing above the stage in sync with the performance to translate the singers’ words (which in La traviata are sung in Italian).

The audio description service was previously offered and taken up for productions of The Bartered Bride and Madame Butterfly.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news