Monday, April 14, 2008

Backlog

Howard Stern's on vacation this week so I have some extra listening time. I decided to start dealing with my major backlog of Met broadcasts recorded off SIRIUS's Met Opera channel. So every day this week will be at least one opera. I've already finished today's: last Saturday's The Gambler. Tomorrow will be a Billy Budd from 1997, Wednesday an Il trovatore from 1989, Thursday a Siegfried from 2004 and Friday a Der Rosenkavalier from 1946.

Thinking about Prokofiev lead me to wonder why we don't keep the Russian names for the operas. We know the operas as The Gambler, War and Peace, Betrothal in a Monastery, etc. Why not the transliterated Russian equivalent? Then I discovered what The Gambler in Russian ends up as when transliterated: Igrok. Let's stick with the English...

4 comments:

Colby Cosh said...

Trying to pronounce "Mtsensk" didn't give you your first clue on this one?

But at least one Russian opera eludes this conventional treatment (because of the difficulty of exact translation): Khovanshchina.

Jason said...

I wasn't really that confused. I just wanted to setup the punchline of Igrok. Come to think of it, this has to be Klingon, not Russian.

Sieglinde said...

Where to get that Met Billy Budd? Video, dvd, ANY form? It seems to be unavailable. I want it so badly. I'm pretty much obsessing over this opera. :D

Jason said...

I've recorded something like 4 different performances off The Met Opera channel on Sirius Satellite Radio (www.sirius.com). You can check www.metoperaplayer.org to see if they've put any Billys up there yet.