Oscar Guevara-Perez, a double major in Italian and Spanish (class 2018), completed a 7-week summer internship at the Macerata Opera Festival in Italy. The internship focuses on the production of sur-titles and audio-descriptions in English of the operas included in the prestigious summer season of the Sferisterio Arena, which has become an established laboratory for practices of accessibility aimed at embracing a diverse audience across languages and abilities.
Made possible by the generosity of Mr. Inserra and the partial co-sponsorship of the Sferisterio Arena Association for two years in a row, this internship in audiovisual translation is supported by a team of local experts of the University of Macerata, directed by Dr. Di Giovanni (all featured in the photo above). This year’s calendar included innovative, if not daring, productions of Verdi’s La Traviata directed by Henning Brockhaus with its multiple mirrors, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore directed by Damiano Michieletto “on the seaside”, and Mozart’s Il flauto magico directed by Graham Vick with a town-inclusive spirit — all confirming the constant dynamism of this opera festival.
Like last year’s intern, Rosanna Coviello, Oscar has remarked that the experience in “beautiful, and above all, peaceful Macerata” with such a dedicated group of experts has been extremely fulfilling, if not life-changing, from both a personal and professional point of view. In his comments upon returning, he has emphasized “the sense of responsibility towards those spectators out of the 36,500 this year who depended on the English surtitles or audiodescriptions to make the shows accessible, meaningful and enjoyable to them.” As he concluded, “This responsibility with a public that seeks to understand in their own language something done in a different one has inspired me to explore more in depth the many ways in which translation can be done, and pursue a career in the translation field where I can utilize my knowledge of three languages: Spanish, English, and now Italian.”
“The pre-professional experiences open to students in the Italian Program thanks to the Inserra Endowment continue to reflect the main elements of our approach to the field: a collaborative interdisciplinary spirit, an applied take on language, and a belief in the centrality of arts, culture, and technology in language acquisition,” as Dr. Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies) pointed out in her role of internship supervisor on the Montclair State campus side, along with Dr. Marisa Trubiano. “The Italian Program’s multiple class offerings in translation (AVT, film, tourism, literature, business, etc.) prepare our students for culminating experiences such as special class projects and internships,” Dr. Trubiano remarked. “The skills and experiences they gather in the process with languages, translation and accessibility make them into strong candidates for the creative and cultural industries, and far beyond.”