Monday, October 25, 2010

Original Pronunciation Is Back In Vogue

I'm always fascinated when someone says, "This is what Shakespeare performance sounded like." How do we really know?

Anyway, the topic's come back around again this week because someone at the University of Kansas is staging Midsummer in original pronunciation, and it's being dubbed "the first time in North America" that this has been the case. This is probably accurate, although it's certainly been done elsewhere.

When I first blogged about this idea back in 2008 I said it sounded "A bit Scottish", and I think that's still accurate. (The ShakespearePost article linked at the time is no longer up, alas).

I wonder how much of the UKansas work is really just taken directly from David Crystal's work? I mean, the man's got an entire site dedicated to Pronouncing Shakespeare.

For the curious, pronunciation has come up a lot here on Geek over the years. Often with respect to John Barton, who knocks it out of the park in the Playing Shakespeare videos when asked to demonstrate for his students.

1 comment:

william sutton said...

I had dinner with David this weekend and he spent 2 weeks in Kansas working with the group and individually. Their professor, Paul Meier in Kansas runs International Dialects of English Archive.

Btw David's son Ben has just recorded Richard 3rd's opening speech for the British Library.

I'm curious now to see the comparisons of modern English actors in OP and American actors in OP.