Migrating Musical Theatre

The project analyses the translation practice in the musical theatre of the 19th century and works with autors and translators to apply the results for the creation of new forms of opera translations.



In addition to the research on historical opera translations, the project creates new forms of operatic translations which are based on the research and accentuate the different levels of opera as a synthesis of the arts.

Course of action

Using the example of translations and adpations of Goethes 'Singspiel' 'Jery und Bätely', the project highlights the translational practices of the European musical theatre. An international team of musicologists, literary scholars and traductologists works with autors to create new forms of operatic translations based on the research results.


The project highlighted the characteristics of the creation and translation of opera librettos and the historical background of the text complex ‘Betly-Le chalet’. Based on this research the autors created three innovative translations.

Looking ahead

Annual courses Music & Text at the SLI (BA Literary Writing). R. Urweider: translation of Goethe’s original text into Swiss german dialect. Impossibility of a follow-up project because of change of employment of collaborators.