Today is British Sign Language day! At the Studio we strive to make our work accessible to all and have developed a number of programmes to explore the beauty of BSL in a performance context and to inspire interpreters to bring Opera to a deaf audience.
We commissioned Arts Access Consultant, Adele Ward to engage the UK’s foremost Sign Language interpreter of sung music, Wendy Ebsworth to work together to design and deliver a course for BSL interpreters. This short CPD course, for Registered Sign Language Interpreters, encouraged participants to step beyond the constraints of the BSL/English continuum and find their own way to express the emotion and action of sung music. Day one focused on how interpreting for sung performance is not just about how we use language – how to convey the emotions, tension and humour in a show. The group discussed how Deaf theatre and performance is different from interpreted performance and looked at how the choices interpreters make can influence Deaf audience members’ experience of both opera and musical theatre. On the second day, the group were joined by singers and a pianist from The National Opera Studio to explore the process of translation and working with musicians to prepare songs for performance.
In the autumn term trainee's had the opportunity to work with NOS Head of Music, Mark Shanahan and Adele Ward in a session designed to improve their communication as performers. Adele is a Registered Sign Language Interpreter and works with performers through BSL and using a variety of methods including Meisner Technique. Having trained at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and worked as an actor, she has combined BSL interpreting with performance and worked with some of the UK’s foremost theatre and dance companies, including Graeae and CandoCo.
This weekend NOS alumni Katie Grosset and Tim Hawken popped into the Pleasance Theatre to entertain Mark Watson and fellow comedians performing non-stop for 27 hours in aid of Comic Relief. Katie and Tim received a standing ovation after performing Carmen infront of an appreciative audience of 200 and the performance was streamed online to thousands supporting the impressive fundraiser.
Comedian Mark Watson was joined on stage by Adam Hills, Emma Kennedy, Rufus Hound, and Susan Calman as he celebrated completing his epic comedy marathon. Special Guests included Emma Freud, Jennifer Saunders, Gillian Anderson, Russell Brand, Miranda Hart, Sarah Millican and Lauren Lavern.
From beans to bake off, the carnival of planned mayhem, spontaneous mayhem, and one slightly knackered bloke being funny for a very, very long time certainly paid off, with Watson raising £78,257 and counting for the charity. Thank you to Katie and Tim for giving their time for this excellent cause and for hitting the right notes in peculiar circumstances whilst being watched by a man riding a goat...
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