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Surtitles, also known as supertitles, SurCaps, OpTrans, are translated or transcribed lyrics/dialogue projected above a stage or displayed on a screen, commonly used in opera, theatreor other musical performances. The word "surtitle" comes from the French language "sur", meaning "over" or "on", and the English language word "title", formed in a similar way to the related subtitle. The word Surtitle is a trademark of the Canadian Opera Company.
Surtitles was introduced in the 1990s to translate the meaning of the lyrics into the audience's language, or to transcribe lyrics that may be difficult to understand in the sung form in the opera-house auditoria.The two possible types of presentation of surtitles are as projected text, or as the electronic libretto system. Titles in the theatre have proven a commercial success in areas such as opera, and are finding increased use for allowing hearing-impaired patrons to enjoy theatre productions more fully. Surtitles are used in live productions in the same way as subtitles are used in movie and television productions.
Generally projected above the theatre's proscenium arch (but, alternately, on either side of the stage), surtitles are usually displayed using a supertitling machine. The text must be prepared beforehand as in subtitles. These machines can be used for events other than artistic performances, when the text is easier to show to the audience than it is to vocalize.
Surtitles are different from subtitles, which are more often used in filmmaking and television production. Originally, translations would be broken up into small chunks and photographed onto slides that could be projected onto a screen above the stage, but most companies now use a combination of video projectors and computers.
John Leberg developed the Surtitle system for the Canadian Opera Company when he was the company's director of operations.Lotfi Mansouri, then general director of the company, first used the system in the January 1983 staging of Elektra .
New York City Opera was the first American opera company to use supertitles, in 1983.
The surtitle is given an insertion point in the score (piano score) for the surtitle's entry and exit. An operator will push a button at the marked point when following the music.
The American company called Figaro Systems established by Patrick Markle, Geoff Webb, and Ron Erkman developed the first assistive technology for individualized libretto-reading for audiences.This technology allows the audience to select their preferred language from a list or simply turn it off, watching the performance without surtitles.
Surtitles can be a distraction, focusing attention on the titles instead of the stage. Therefore, several systems have been developed to provide captions visible only to those individual viewers who wish to see them.
The electronic libretto system uses individual screens placed in front of each seat allowing patrons either to view a translation or to switch them off during the performance. New York's Metropolitan Opera installed the patented Met Titles, becoming the first house in the United States to use this system.
The Vienna State Opera and Santa Fe Opera use such a system. It allows the patron to choose among several different languages.[ citation needed ]
The Rear Window Captioning System is a method for presenting, through captions, a transcript of the audio portion of a film in theatres. The system was co-developed by WGBH and Rufus Butler Seder and initially targeted at people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
On the way into the theatre, viewers pick up a reflective plastic panel mounted on a flexible stalk. The panel sits in a seat cupholder or on the floor adjacent to the seat. A large LED display is mounted on a rear wall that displays caption characters in mirror image. Viewers move the panels into position (usually below the movie screen or stage) so they can read the reflected captions and watch the presentation. Others seated alongside do not watch, or usually even see, the captions.
After a successful test run in 2015, the French-German surtitling company Panthea launched a pilot project on a larger scale introducing multilingual surtitles on smartglasses to the Festival d’Avignon 2017.
The system was the subject of a study which was later published by the French Ministry of Culture.The device became commercially-available the following year and was tested by several houses, such as the Opéra de Paris. The Theatre Times' test user report that: “Supertitles are displayed on the lenses during the performance so that you can concentrate more on what is happening on the stage rather than reading supertitles.”.
In October 2019, the Théâtre Édouard VII, in partnership with Panthea and La Fondation pour l'Audition (a non-profit foundation for the hearing-impaired), became the first Parisian theatre to offer surtitling smartglasses for a full season, providing the service at no extra cost for audience members with hearing impairments.
Dubbing, mixing or re-recording, is a post-production process used in filmmaking and video production in which additional or supplementary recordings are lip-synced and "mixed" with original production sound to create the finished soundtrack.
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
Closed captioning (CC) and subtitling are both processes of displaying text on a television, video screen, or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information. Both are typically used as a transcription of the audio portion of a program as it occurs, sometimes including descriptions of non-speech elements. Other uses have included providing a textual alternative language translation of a presentation's primary audio language that is usually burned-in to the video and unselectable.
A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.
Marc Okrand is an American linguist. His professional work is in Native American languages, and he is well known as the creator of the Klingon language in the Star Trek science fiction franchise.
An opera house is a theatre building used for performances of opera. It usually includes a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and building sets.
San Francisco Opera (SFO) is an American opera company founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola (1881–1953) based in San Francisco, California.
Lotfollah "Lotfi" Mansouri was an Iranian-born opera director and manager. He was an opera director from about 1960 onwards, and is best known for being the General Director of the Canadian Opera Company and of the San Francisco Opera from 1988 through 2001. In 1992 he became a Chevalier of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the subject of a 1998 biography.
An electronic libretto system is used primarily in opera houses and is a device which presents translations of lyrics into an audience's language or transcribes lyrics that may be difficult to understand when sung.
Subtitles are text derived from either a transcript or screenplay of the dialogue or commentary in films, television programs, video games, and the like, usually displayed at the bottom of the screen, but can also be at the top of the screen if there is already text at the bottom of the screen. They can either be a form of written translation of a dialogue in a foreign language, or a written rendering of the dialogue in the same language, with or without added information to help viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, who cannot understand the spoken language, or who have accent recognition problems to follow the dialogue.
The word Titling, in the performing arts, defines the work of linguistic mediation encompassing subtitling and surtitling.
A speech-to-text reporter (STTR), also known as a captioner, is a person who listens to what is being said and inputs it, word for word (verbatim), using an electronic shorthand keyboard or speech recognition software and a CAT software system. Their keyboard or speech recognition software is linked to a computer, which converts this information to properly spelled words. The reproduced text could then be read by deaf or hard-of-hearing people.
Figaro Systems, Inc. is an American company that provides seatback and wireless titling software and system installations to opera houses and other music performance venues worldwide. The company is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was established in 1993 by Patrick Markle, Geoff Webb, and Ron Erkman and was the first company to provide assistive technology that enables individualized, simultaneous, multi-lingual dialogue and libretto-reading for audiences.
Same language subtitling (SLS) refers to the practice of subtitling programs on TV in the same language as the audio. Initially introduced in the early 1970s as a means to make services available to the hard of hearing, Closed captioning as it became known was standardized for Latin alphabets in the 1976 World System Teletext agreement. Non-Latin character set services have subsequently been introduced, and are used in India, and in China to also aid literacy.
A subtitle editor is a type of software used to create and edit subtitles to be superimposed over, and synchronized with, video. Such editors usually provide video preview, easy entering/editing of text, start, and end times, and control over text formatting and positioning. Subtitle editors are available as standalone applications, as components of many video editing software suites, and as web applications.
Radio Marconi is an Italian-based company that has installed and serviced audio-visual and radio equipment since 1993. It designs interactive multimedia communication systems. The company has also developed several applications for theaters, conference centers, museums and stadiums. During its lifespan, the company has become a service center for brands such as Sony, Sennheiser, Neumann, and Televic, with customers based in radio, television, theater, public authorities and security forces.
The term multilingual titling defines, in the field of titling for the performing arts, the chance for the audience to follow more than one linguistic option.
Multimedia translation, also sometimes referred to as Audiovisual translation, is a specialized branch of translation which deals with the transfer of multimodal and multimedial texts into another language and/or culture. and which implies the use of a multimedia electronic system in the translation or in the transmission process.
Amara, formerly known as Universal Subtitles, is a web-based non-profit project created by the Participatory Culture Foundation that hosts and allows user-subtitled video to be accessed and created. Users upload video through many major video hosting websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Ustream to subtitle.
Sonya Haddad was a libretto translator and surtitler for the Metropolitan Opera in New York.