Recording opera in English translation developed from Peter Moores's determination that Reginald Goodall's ‘English' Ring cycle at the London Coliseum in the early 1970s should not be a secret for audiences in London nor become a thing of the past, but should be recorded ‘live' for posterity. The Goodall Ring and many of the other famous English language recordings funded by the Foundation in the 1970s and 1980s are now part of the Opera in English label launched in 1995 with Chandos Records. Since then, new studio recordings of mainstream operas together with the re-issued titles, form the largest collection of opera recorded in English translation.
Classic FM Magazine
'If recordings in Chandos' Opera in English series were at first regarded as 'poor cousins' to more starry original-language versions, that view certainly no longer obtains (January 2009).'
'Of all the studio-based recording projects underway at present (November 2005), few have been more prolific or artistically consistent than Chandos's Opera in English series, which now covers a significant part of the mainstream operatic repertoire. An important part of this enterprise is the solo-recital disc.'
Sir Peter Moores
'A language is not a subject to be studied; it is a means of communication. And that is really what the Opera in English series is about. It's about understanding the opera. Tosca is not better in English than it is in Italian; it is simply that it's in your own language, so you can understand it. Opera in English is about opening a door, but not about pushing people through it. I want people to have the opportunity to share in something that I've been able to explore and enjoy.'
Ludmilla Andrew interviewed by Michael Oliver
'She recalls numerous examples of unsingable or risible translation: 'You must understand what you're singing, and you must believe it. And - isn't this an extraordinary thing to say? - you don't always have to make a beautiful sound. It's not just diction. If the text is to emerge clearly and expressively, a suitable translation must be found well in advance... 95% of the time the singers will already know the opera in the original, so they need time to sing the translation in... I adore the English language - it's one of the most expressive there is.'
'The new series of specially made studio recordings started in 1995 with Rossini's Barber of Seville, which straightaway won a thumbs up.' The recordings are 'made in some style - singers of international repute in many of the leading roles, first rate orchestras such as the Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic, top-of-the-range Chandos recording quality and handsome booklets.'
1 December 2015