An historian of Renaissance and Baroque Europe by training and a classical singer by profession, I "stepped sideways" into translating poetic German operas and art songs into singable, poetic English because it was something I felt needed to be done for the benefit of English speaking audiences.

I'd seen first hand the differences between American and German audience reactions to German repertoire sung in German.  Americans were respectful and appreciative of what we singers sang on stage.  They expected to vaguely understand the plot from the summary printed in the program or titles onstage.  Germans were passionate about what we sang and expected to be able to understand every word and every nuance as it was being sung.  

 

Germans experience music opera in their native language the same way they, and we, experience other forms of live theater.  They expect to understand it by listening and watching (not by reading) and they expect to be entertained by it, whether through comedy or catharsis.  When things go well on stage, they do, and they are.   

 

I wanted American and other English speaking audiences to have the joy of hearing this repertoire the same way.  So, armed with fluent German, a good working knowledge of the mechanics of translation, especially of antiquated and baroquely worded historical texts, and years of stage experience, I made these singing translations.  

I hope you will enjoy them!