Will The Metropolitan Opera Allow the Deaf to Sing?

[UPDATE: September 12, 2023; our ASL Opera Project website is now live! Join us there for new videos, translation updates, and for consultation concerning the right interpretation of Opera in American Sign Language!]

[UPDATE: July 11, 2023.  Janna and I met with the Metropolitan Opera to discuss heightened ASL interpreting for their performances. The meeting was positive, forward-thinking, and hopeful! We will soon update with more information! Here’s the July 11 update!]

My delightful wife Janna Sweenie and I are big lovers of opera. Opera is the pinnacle of all the Performing Arts — Painting, Acting, Voice, Costumes, Lights and Sets — and when put together, in unison, in an exaggerated and elevated performance, the entire world glows and resonates! We have always been dismayed that opera is not often, if ever, interpreted in American Sign Language for the Deaf like all Broadway shows are interpreted. Janna and I are currently working on our “Opera Project” where she will present ASL renderings of famous opera arias. We will place those performances online as proof-of-concept. This is a challenging, but rewarding, and complex academic process of interpretation and adaptation, and implementation.

Here’s my Boles.tv live stream discussion of the Deaf singing at The Met:

Continue reading → Will The Metropolitan Opera Allow the Deaf to Sing?

Do Only Women Sing the Blues?

When you think of the history of The Blues in America, you are struck by two, stark, gender realities:  Women sing The Blues and Men play The Blues on guitar.

Continue reading → Do Only Women Sing the Blues?

Springsteen Sings Seeger

Bruce Springsteen’s new album is a tribute to Pete Seeger and it comes off as an Old-Time Revival jamboree on DVD. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions is a celebration of Folk and Gospel music and the energy and divinity found pounding in the songs is a exclamation of joy and wonderment that we are alive and in the company of each other.

Springsteen Sings Seeger

Continue reading → Springsteen Sings Seeger