Signed Performances

Bringing Opera to Life for d/Deaf Audiences

Julie Doyle

Julie Doyle – BSL Interpreter

Julie is a native user of BSL, having Deaf Parents. She has over 20 years’ experience interpreting live performances, from Glastonbury to Relaxed Proms at The Royal Albert Hall. 

We’ve been working with Julie Doyle since 2018 to make opera accessible for d/Deaf people and are thrilled to be working with her again for our 2023/24 Shakespeare season

Opera, with all its drama and emotive storytelling, lends itself perfectly to Julie’s BSL interpretation which focuses on the dramatic elements of the work.

Forthcoming performances with BSL interpretation

Beatrice & Benedict

2 November 2023 | St Elvan's Church, Aberdare

Act 1:  45 mins
Act 2: 45 mins

Sung in English with BSL interpretation


14 March 2024 | The Riverfront, Newport

Acts 1 & 2: 70 mins
Act 3 & 4: 60 mins

Sung in English with BSL interpretation

Preparing to sign an opera

Julie’s work starts with a film of our dress rehearsal and a copy of the libretto (the name for an opera script) to gain an understanding of the characters and plot. 

Julie looks for nuances to help her derive meaning from the libretto, to shape her approach to the performance and to decide how BSL can work with the production. 

Next, Julie will check for visual cues so she can find moments to pause her interpretation and allow audiences to enjoy the moment without distractions. 

Finally, Julie will return to the libretto in more detail to understand the meaning behind the dialogue and finalise an appropriate translation into BSL which considers factors such as era and gender. 


What happens at the performance?

Julie will stand to one side of the stage and interpret the libretto used by the performers at the same time as the opera is being performed. 

If Julie pauses, it’s to allow you to enjoy the action on stage without distraction.


Is there anything I can do to prepare?

A great place to start is to familiarise yourself with the story! 

Programmes will also be available at the venue so you can find out more about the story, cast and creative team.


How do I book?

Tickets may be booked using Relay UK via a smartphone, tablet, computer or telephone. If you need assistance booking your tickets, or have any questions, email


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