Thursday, January 7, 2010

Italian for the Opera: IL TROVATORE

At Tuesday night's Seattle Opera Adult Education event, hosted at Seattle University, the fantastic Ruth Richert of the Washington Academy of Languages taught attendees enough basics of Italian pronunciation, grammar, and the relevant vocabulary to enable them to detach from the supertitles at upcoming performances of Il trovatore and understand key words and phrases in the libretto as the singers sing it. We learned how to pronounce all the words and sing along to some of Il trovatore's greatest tunes, including the Anvil Chorus, the Troubadour song "Deserto sulla terra", and of course "Di quella pira". Click here for the language lesson cheat sheet to Il trovatore.

Washington Academy of Languages and Seattle Opera have been partners for several years now; in addition to events like this one, faculty from WAL have taught classes in French, German, and Italian to the singers of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, and of course many in the Seattle Opera audience have studied foreign languages at WAL, which is located on the south shore of the Lake Washington Ship Canal near Seattle Pacific University. If you're looking to study a foreign language (ANY foreign language, not just those sung on the opera stage), or to brush up your skills in a language you once studied, or join in a conversational class at any level, check out what WAL has to offer at


  1. Hello, Jon,
    Do you teach there?

  2. Hello, Anonymous!

    No, I don't teach at WAL...but I studied there, many years ago, before I began writing English captions!

    Jonathan Dean

  3. Thanks, Jon,
    for your reply; with your language skills, you'd be a great "calling card" for any language school!!
    Win H.