Performing onstage teaches me what to write offstage.
Why does it have to be that a different language ruins the author's aim and purpose?
Or that the role loses its authenticity because the translator could not find a better solution?
Or that a scene is not as funny or as moving as the original?
Or that a translated verse is harder to sing?
There should not be a metrical excuse for somebody who has the responsibility to channel the composer's message. When it comes to storytelling, it is true that the quality of the German market is still far behind the American.
Big secret: It is not always the casting director's or the performer's fault. They are just the unlucky souls who have to deal with a poor template. Every experienced person in the business knows that a well written dialogue is half the battle.
The German language has a bitter taste when it comes to lyrical music. I am very much aware of that and constantly searching for the qualities of my mother tongue.
It is my job to defend the composer's will: By remaining true to the content, the character, and (my personal special ingredient) the sound.
The basic ingredients come from my background. I have been lucky to grow up in an international environment: I attended a bilingual school in Spain. Then I moved to the US as an exchange student in high school.
Therefore, I do not only speak the language; I have lived the American mentality which, in my opinion, is very much needed for an advanced translation.
Now I have moved from Germany to the UK to play on a West End stage.This is my last ingredient that differs me from the other musical translators. I am a singer myself. If it’s not interpretable, I’ll be the first one to know.
A musical translation is not a deadpan process. It is just as creative as its origin. I believe that a musical translator is only five percent of its definition. Everything beyond a factual translation is the process of art. And art, ironically, emerges from narrowness.
Available on request: The Manual of the musical translation by Laura Friedrich Tejero
SDI Media Synchronisation Studios
Carolin Fortenbacher & Tino Derado
Eric Allaman & Bob Garrett
IN THE HEIGHTS Musical (translation, premiered 2015 in Vienna)
FREAKY FRIDAY Remake (German lyrics, premiered 2018 on Disney Channel)
KEEP HOPE ALIVE (music translation, reading 2018 in Berlin)
ALTAR BOYZ (translation, premiered 2019 in Berlin)