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.
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