• PRESCOTT STUDIO
    Surtitling
    & multilingual titling
    for the live performing arts.

1986-2016 | 1996-2016

> 30 Years of Surtitling in Europe
> 20 Years of Prescott Studio
A SHORT MOVIE BY CRISTIANO BACCHI FOR PRESCOTT STUDIO
Perspectives of a new literary genre

Prescott Studio at work, rehearsing surtitles in two languages for Iolanta by Čajkovskij (Florence, April 2016).
From the left: Stefano Bozolo (music consultant), Isabella Babbucci (production), Mauro Conti (director), Alessia Carboni (organization).


Surtitling – A Complex Art of Simplicity
10 video testimonies on the occasion of the staging of «Iolanta» by Čajkovskij
79th Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2016
Florence, Opera di Firenze – 28, 30 April,  3, 5 May 2016


30 years ago, in 1986, a new literary genre – conceived in Canada back in 1983 – began to establish itself in Europe: surtitles – a technical and educational device inspired by the subtitles used in video productions, but designed specifically for the live performing arts. Due to the instinct of Zubin Mehta, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was the first festival on the old continent to put this system successfully into practice for the opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Sergio Sablich signed the first memorable literary adaptation for the Italian audience. Since then, Florence has developed a unique school in this particular field of audio-visual translation. In 1987, thanks to Giorgio Vidusso, at the time manager of the Maggio, Mauro Conti had the opportunity to pick up the baton from Sergio Sablich as an author of surtitles, and in 1996 he founded Prescott Studio, a society that for 20 years (with 1,100 productions, 360 authors, and 140 venues to its credit) has offered an unparalleled example of linguistic mediation for the theatre. This anniversary, marking 30 years of surtitles in Europe (1986-2016) and 20 years of Prescott Studio (1996-2016) prompted Mauro Conti’s idea to put together, in collaboration with Cristiano Bacchi, 10 video testimonials with the intention of recounting and evaluating the journey made so far. The resulting 12-minute video – A Complex Art of Simplicity – features, along with Zubin Mehta, executives of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, members of Prescott Studio and specialists from US academic institutions associated with Prescott (Montclair State University and ICAMus). Enjoy this video!


Иоланта | Iolanta

Music Pëtr Il’ič Čajkovskij
Libretto Modest Il’ič Čajkovskij
Production Metropolitan Opera House (New York) and Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa (Warsaw)
Conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky
Director Mariusz Treliński
Set Boris F. Kudlička
Costumes Marek Adamski
Lighting Marc Heinz
Italian and English surtitling Prescott Studio
with Monclair State University (Inserra Chair) & ICAMus, USA
Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Collaborators for filming
Marco Borrelli, Francesco Cacchiani, Michele Petruzziello
Audio and Video department of the Opera di Firenze

Contributions by
Isabella Babbucci, Prescott Studio – Production
Aloma Bardi, ICAMus – Director
Stefano Bozolo, Prescott Studio – Musical Consultant
Pierangelo Conte, Opera di Firenze – Artistic Director
Mauro Conti, Prescott Studio – Director
Fabio Fassone, Opera di Firenze – Director of Marketing
Teresa Fiore, Montclair State University, USA – Inserra Chair
Paolo Antonio Klun, Opera di Firenze – Press Office
Zubin Mehta, Opera di Firenze – Chief Conductor
Marisa Trubiano, Montclair State University, USA – Associate Professor of Italian

With thanks for their collaboration to
Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Florence
Audio and Video Department of the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Florence

Additional thanks to
Silvio Brambilla
Silvia Zan