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Thread: Need help finding libretti

  1. #1
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    Default Need help finding libretti

    Greetings, everyone, I just discovered this forum and it looks wonderful. I'm looking to buy books of libretti with English translations and need help finding what I want. I listen to Met Opera Radio incessantly and would like libretti of most or all of the operas they play. Here are the best ones I've found so far:

    ---Met Opera Shop- has 42 libretti. Are they hardcover or soft?

    ---Leyerle Publications- these look very good, but I don't need or want the phonetic translations, and I don't much like having to read 3 or 4 lines simultaneously.
    Here's an example of their text:

    ---Music Espresso- has 36 libretti.

    Please comment on these, or fill me in on others I don't know of.

    Something very important is that I get good translations. I've bought lots of vocal music on CD, and sometimes the translations in the enclosed booklet are just lousy.

    I'm also interested in books of song texts with English translation. The afore-mentioned Leyerle Publications has some of these, but they have the same 3- or 4-line format that I don't like.

    Thanks for your help-


  2. #2
    Senior Member aimee's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    Welcome to TC!
    I'm also new here but I've found it's such a wonderful site with knowledgeable members sharing great info about anything in classical music.

    In finding libretti you need, this Librettos online thread may be helpful to you.

    the following site is also a very good one to search for song texts in various languages:

    I'm sure you will find much more help from wonderful people here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cavaradossi's Avatar
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    Hi Philippe (and aimee!), welcome to the forum.

    Those Schirmer librettos with the red (soft) covers that the Met Opera Shop sells seem to be ubiquitous, but if good translations are important to you, then they are best avoided. Sadly, the quality of translation ranges from poor approximation to not even close.

    I hadn't seen the Leyerle/Castel versions before. I have no use for the phonetic translation either, but I like the word-for-word, line-over-line format alot. (Beats having to follow original and translation in two separate columns.)

    I've found CD jacket librettos to be decent for the most part, certainly far better than the Schirmer versions. Occasionally you can get lucky and find a good translated version online too.
    Last edited by Cavaradossi; Nov-29-2013 at 04:49.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    Paris, France
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    I'd avoid purchases from whoever translated this...

    This space for rent.

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