Opening eyes to opera

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In today’s rapidly developing digital age and increasingly socially-aware society, the notion of media accessibility is evolving in response to shifting audience expectations. Performing arts and media, such as opera, are called upon to include all audiences, and related audiovisual translation methods are progressing in this direction. These comprise audio description and touch tours for the blind and partially-sighted, two relatively new translation modalities which are consumer-oriented and require an original research design for the analysis of the translation processes involved. This research design follows two fundamental principles: (1) audience reception studies should be an integral part of the investigation into the translation process; and (2) the translation process is regarded as a network. Therefore, this chapter explores the unique translation processes of audio description and touch tours within the context of live opera from the perspective of actor-network theory and by providing an overview of a reception project. Through discussion of the methodology and findings, this chapter addresses the question of the impact of audience reception on the translation process.


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