Monday, October 7, 2013

OP, Original Pronunciation: Everything You Know About Shakespeare Is Wrong

Well, not everything. But everything about how Shakespeare SOUNDS. That's wrong.

If you're like me, you're used to hearing Shakespeare spoken in what's known as Received Pronunciation. Think of Derek Jacobi, whom I love above all current interpreters of the Bard, opening up HENRY V:

Beautiful, right? But guess what? That's not even close to the way it sounded in 1599. If you love that style of delivery, as I did for decades, more power to you -- but these days I am longing for a video of HENRY V (and everything else) in what's known as OP, or Original Pronunciation, because a) it sounds way, way, WAY cool and b) it reconnects the Bard's language to puns and rhymes that don't work otherwise.

Take a look and a listen -- and tell me, please, where I can find performances and videos of Shakespeare in OP: