The world’s first auto-translating opera glasses made their debut at this year’s Avignon Festival. Here are some Audience members trialling the glasses.
Co-developed by Atos and Theatre in Paris, the augmented reality glasses allow audience members to choose surtitles in their native language, which are displayed on the glasses at a pace matching that of the performance.
The technology was used for the first time during performances of King Lear at the Palais de Papes, with the option of translation into French, English or Mandarin. It will undergo further testing at future festival productions.
Paul Rodin, managing director of the Avignon Festival, said: ‘These glasses not only demonstrate technological prowess, but are an accessibility tool, providing a simple way for cultures to be spread and making the ‘other’ accessible to very different publics.’
Further alterations will be made before the glasses are rolled out for general use. A greater selection of languages and additional content (such as superimposed 3D animation and dramatic effects) will be available, while those with hearing difficulties will be able to customise the devices.
According to Carl de Poncins of Theatre in Paris, the final product could be in use in opera houses and theatres in the UK within a year.
(Classical Music Magazine 16th July 2015)
(Thank you to Rose Bruford College for this information)