Definition of surtitle in English:



trademark in US
  • A caption projected on a screen above the stage in an opera, translating the text being sung.

    • ‘Projected over several screens, the surtitles use different fonts, with a comic-book typeface for the larger-than-life characters.’
    • ‘Captioning differs from the surtitles that have helped popularise opera in the US.’
    • ‘If you're translating for surtitles, of course, there are no metrical constraints.’
    • ‘The work was sung in Mandarin, with English surtitles.’
    • ‘The mini-operas are in English, with English surtitles projected on the walls as part of the convention-breaking design that will surround the roaming audience.’
    • ‘Nearly all the lyrics are in French - surtitles would have been useful - and the only speech is an amusing opening greeting as the sparse audience is welcomed aboard the flight to Haiti.’
    • ‘The libretto was re-written for raciness and local flavour and sung in English with surtitles, which seems redundant but was surprisingly handy.’
    • ‘This show, performed in Arabic with English surtitles, is a vital complement in that it is a report from the inside.’
    • ‘Next came the introduction of surtitles in the opera house, either above the proscenium arch or, in some theatres, on individual screens in front of each seat.’
    • ‘Also, the surtitles (presented in English, Vietnamese and French) appear to the extreme left of the stage, making a chore of following the action and understanding the dialogue.’
    • ‘One plus was the use of surtitles which allowed for instant translation.’
    • ‘There are surtitles, of course, but in the quick, conversational repartee of the Prologue, the machine has trouble keeping up.’
    • ‘Conceding the point, many opera houses nowadays always flash surtitles above the proscenium.’
    • ‘It is only slightly frustrating occasionally that one is forced to read the surtitles and miss some of the subtler action but that is a minor scruple.’
    • ‘Because it performs operas in their original language, it uses surtitles to translate the libretti into English.’
    • ‘Audiences won't have English surtitles translating the German lyrics, but the piece works in abstract as well as in narrative with a collage of theatrical imagery seen through the dance and heard through the music.’
    • ‘This production of Bizet's hot-blooded opera is to be sung in French with English surtitles and features a new set by Felix Bessonov based on the city of Seville.’
    • ‘Whilst the play is performed entirely in Spanish, the well-presented surtitles make following the dialogue an easy task.’
    • ‘A fair amount of the dialogue is in Gaelic (and the surtitles are not visible from all seats) though their gist is usually clear enough until the play's downbeat final moments - ironically one of its finest passages.’
    • ‘Now many, if not most, opera houses use surtitles.’


  • Provide (an opera production) with surtitles.

    • ‘The text is incredibly sophisticated, full of puns and rhymes that make it quite difficult to surtitle in English.’