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

 

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news