Richard Bratby

Lost in translation | 3 December 2015

Plus: David McVicar kills Glyndebourne’s touring Entfuhrung by kindness

About 15 minutes into act one of Jenufa, the student in the next seat leaned over to her companions and whispered, ‘They’re singing in English!’ And so they were, in Otakar Kraus and Edward Downes’s translation. Janacek was obsessed with the shapes and intonations of speech; for a non-Czech speaker, a first-rate singing translation is really the only way to make Jenufa strike home with anything like the immediacy and realism he intended.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in