It’s no secret that we love opera (we practically eat, sleep, and breathe it), but that doesn’t mean we always understand every word that’s sung on our stage. From German to Italian to French to Spanish, it can sometimes be hard to keep up. That’s why we have subtitles at all of our shows to make sure everyone knows exactly what’s going on in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (because a two-and-a-half-hour opera isn’t any fun if you can’t follow the story).
But if you come to our run of The Light in the Piazza, you might notice that the Italian scenes aren’t translated. Why is that, you ask? We’ll let the show’s director, Daniel Evans, tell you (and we promise it’s a good reason):
"The piece follows two Americans (a mother and daughter) visiting a foreign country where their grasp of that country’s culture and language is minimal. By intentionally writing the Italian family scenes in the family's native language, Adam Guettel, our composer and lyricist, and Craig Lucas, our book writer, place American audiences in Margaret and Clara’s shoes. They, like our heroines, must decipher what they can from the Italian and glean what they can from the non-verbal behavior, interpreting it (or indeed mis-interpreting it!) in their own way. The lack of English translation also builds to the terrific joke in Act 2."
So when you come to settle in for this sweet show, be prepared for a (purposeful) lack of subtitles to transport you right into the heart of Firenze.