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Title: Lifting the curtain on opera translation and accessibility : translating opera for audiences with varying sensory ability
Author: Weaver, Sarah Lucie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 5062
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2014
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In the multicultural world of today, as boundaries continue to merge and evolve, issues of accessibility and translation are brought to the forefront of political and social debate. Whilst considerable progress has already been achieved in this domain, the international social and legal recognition of the human right of accessibility to the media and arts demands further advancement in the development of facilities to provide universal access to various art forms including theatre, cinema, and opera. With rapidly developing technology, digitisation and an increasingly socially-aware society, the notion of media accessibility is evolving in response to shifting audience expectations. Performing arts and media, such as opera, are called upon to advance further to embrace all audiences and related audiovisual translation methods are progressing. These include audio description and touch tours for the blind and partially-sighted, as well as sign language interpreting and surtitles for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing. These relatively new translation modalities which are consumer-oriented by nature require an original research design for investigation of the translation processes involved. This research design follows two fundamental principles: (1) audience reception studies should be an integral part of the investigation into the translation process; and (2) the translation process is regarded as a network. This present work explores the unique translation processes of audio description, touch tours, surtitles and sign language interpreting within the context of live opera, focusing on the UK and from the perspective of actor-network theory. A twofold methodology is employed which brings together a study of the translator’s role and an audience reception survey. The translator’s task is examined through observational methods and dialogue with professional practitioners of the various aforementioned translation modalities. The audience’s perspective is investigated through analysis of data collected in a pioneering audience reception project conducted in May 2011, in collaboration with Opera North at performances of Bizet’s Carmen. The focus is on findings assessing the mutual impact of the translator’s choices and audience reception on the distinctive process of translating opera for the blind and partially-sighted as well as the deaf and the hard-of-hearing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available