ARTS / Cries & Whispers

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The Independent Culture
ON 31 MAY I humbly offered you Hughes's Guide to Arts Pronunciation: 47 potentially tricky names, from Bono to Nietzsche, all re-spelt for the phonetically challenged. My mailbag has been bulging ever since.

Many readers sought guidance: as Gerald Nason of Suffolk put it, 'How about Medbh McGuckian? I like her poetry but can't talk to anyone about it, for obvious reasons.' Gerald, your problem is solved.

Some wanted to take issue with our verdicts (the guide carried a disclaimer, but they weren't going to be silenced by that). Others felt that we had taken no account of Scottish accents, and especially the non-silent R (it's the difference between 'teacherr' and 'teachuh'). This is a fair cop. Our phonetics were shamefully geared to those who speak the Queen's English, or at least the Princess of Wales's. So here are some more names, with no promise of infallibility, but no silent Rs either.

Aguirre, Wrath of God, film. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ag-WEIR-ay

Maria Aitken, actress. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .rhymes with pariah, not career

Pedro Almodovar, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Al-mod-OHvar

Tori Amos, singer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Torry AY-moss

Bille August, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bill-EH OW-goosed

Richard Avedon, photographer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AVV-er-duhn

Sean Bean, actor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Shorn Been

(but answers to the nickname Seen Born)

Jean-Jacques Beineix, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . .Ben-EX

John Cassavetes, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Cassa-VETTies

Madonna Ciccone, singer, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chick-OH-nee

Cosi fan tutte, opera. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Coss-EE fan TOOT-eh

Jacques-Louis David, painter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Davv-EED

Jonathan Demme, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rhymes with jemmy

Robert Doisneau, photographer. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rob-air Dwah-no

John Duigan, film director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DYE-gern

The Fleadh, annual rock event. . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Flar

Johnny Hallyday, singer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .J'on-ee-AL-ee-day

John and Anjelica Huston, film people. . . . . .Heuce-ton

Ingres, painter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AIRN-grr

Janacek, composer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Yanna-check

Jenufa, opera. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Yen-ooh-fuh

Aki Kaurismaki, film director. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Cow-riz-macky

Andre Kertesz, photographer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .On-DRAY Care-tesh

Istvan Kertesz, conductor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ist-fun Care-tesh

Kronos Quartet, string ensemble. . . . . . . . . . . .Chron-oss

Mario Vargas Llosa, novelist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Varg-us YO-suh

Louis Malle, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mal, as in Les Fleurs du

David Mamet, playwright and film-maker. . . . .MAM-it

Ngaio Marsh, novelist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Uhnn-GUY-oh

Armistead Maupin, novelist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Army-sted Maw-pin

Medbh McGuckian, poet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mayv

Irek Mukhamedov, dancer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Muh-kuh-MAY-dov

Rudolf Nureyev, dancer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Noo-RAY-eff

Eugene Onegin, opera. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .You-j'aine On-yaig-in

. . . . . . . . . . .(but One Gin to its friends, especially opera critics)

Stephen Poliakoff, writer / director. . . . . . .POLL-yuh-cough

Ruggero Raimondi, singer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rooj-AER-o Ray-MON-di

Keanu Reeves, actor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kay-ANN-ooh

Nicolas Roeg, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rogue

Fred Schepisi, film-maker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SKEP-si

Karlheinz Stockhausen, composer. . . . . . . . . . . .SHTOCK-hows'n

Antoni Tapies, artist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tappy-ESS

Marisa Tomei, actress. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MaREE-suh Tom-AY

Loudon Wainwright III, singer. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Loud'n, not Lood'n

Franz Welser Most, conductor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Frants Vell-sa Murst

Zhang Yimou, film director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Yang Yee-moo

Richard Zajdlic, playwright. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Zide-litz (as in side-splits)

Memo to the reader who said that she obviously wasn't one of the cognoscenti, because she didn't know how to pronounce it: it's Con-yuh-SHENty.

Memo to anyone who knows Liam Tuite of Dublin: it's Lee-um TYU-it, which 'emphatically does not rhyme with suite'. Memo to Liam: we like your HUHTS-pah.

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