Nico Castel's dialectic genius

Nico Castel's dialectic genius

Jenna Simeonov

On May 31st, the opera world lost comprimario tenor and linguistic authority, Nico Castel. I never personally had the chance to work with Castel, but I’m among the many who thanked him every day for his Complete Opera Libretti Translation Series, the invaluable anthologies of opera libretti, translated and phoneticized.

We know him as a language perfectionist, but he never lacked a sense of humour. Here’s a melding of the two, where Castel recites the Haushofmeister’s monologue from Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, one of his signatures roles. All in German, he recites the monologue à-la-American, Puerto Rican, French, Russian, Japanese…absolutely worth a watch.

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