Romantic Opera in Translation: Carl Maria von Weber and Washington Irving

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This paper is concerned with the Covent Garden production of Weber's ‘Romantic’ opera Der Freischütz which premiered on 14 October 1824. The production depended on the work of translation and adaptation of Irving, John Barham Livius and James R. Planché. Focusing on Irving's contribution, the relation of his draft libretto to British and continental European theories of translation, and the reception of the production in the London press, the paper demonstrates how the visual, verbal, and musical languages of opera could be changed, diminished, and enriched through the collaborative struggle with the foreign in the process of translation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-47
Number of pages19
JournalTranslation and Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Carl Maria von Weber
  • Washington Irving
  • John Barnham Livius
  • James R. Planche
  • opera
  • Covent Garden
  • romanticism
  • translation


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