Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Faust: The Opera

Adria and I attended the opera last week. We attended the Portland Opera's production of Charles Gounod's Faust. Adria had attended 3 operas while in college (La Traviata, The Magic Flute, and Carmen), while this was my first opera experience. I suppose with this being my first opera and last week Adria attending her first college football game that it says a lot about how we entertained ourselves during our college years.
Adria thought that the opera was beautiful, but depressing (Adria has found that of all the operas that she has seen, only The Magic Flute was not depressing). I thought that it would have been interesting to be able to see an opera sung in English, instead of listening to the words sung in French and reading the subtitles as they did in Faust. On one of the flights coming home from our trip to Oklahoma, I read an interesting article about reading Homer in the original Greek. The authors main point in the article was that a translated work doesn't convey all of the richness that the words in the original. Personal example: Adria and I recently watched the movie Russian Ark with some friends. Because this is a Russian movie, there were subtitles which Adria and our friends read to follow the movie. However the subtitles didn't capture all of the texture of the dialogue, nor did it capture a lot of what the extras where saying in the background (however despite being able to understand what the extras were saying, the movie still didn't make much sense). Anyways in short, I probably would have enjoyed the opera more if I didn't have to read the subtitles to follow the plot of the opera.

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