The Languages of Opera
Theatergoers think twice about attending a performance in a language that is not their own; for opera audiences, that is the norm. The standard repertoire is heavily weighted toward works in Italian, German, and French. Following the widespread adoption of titling systems in the early 1980s, nearly all U.S. opera companies now perform operas in their original languages with English supertitles. The repertoire does, of course, include some works with English-language librettos, and the expanding interest in presenting new opera has resulted in an even larger body of English-language works.