Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Epic Explorations in Opera: The Hero’s Overture
by North, Diana Richelle, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2020, 325; 28156705
Abstract (Summary)

Epic Explorations in Opera-The Hero’s Overture, is an original inquiry into the mythic patterns found in stories as they relate to six operas in this analysis. Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman, Gounod’s Faust and Strauss’s The Woman Without a Shadow are analyzed through the lens of Psychology, Archetypes, Symbolism, Alchemy and Philosophy. Each story, while unique and enriching, illuminates the Hero’s Journey with innovative and insightful results.

These stories take the reader deep within the psyche of the characters, as well as within the mythology of his or her own life. From the psychology of divine expression through the Self, to the analysis of pathology as expressed by the ego, these six operas give the reader insight into their own human experience. In the process, the reader becomes a part of the same mandala that connects all the characters in their respective worlds.

The methodology used in this dissertation has been specifically qualitative; a discourse analysis that studied communication and its meaning in relation to the social context of the stated objective. Utilizing primary data, the argument was built through the development of thematic chapters that captured and expanded upon the established goals, questions and assertions. The methods used suit its goals and objectives in a manner that minimizes the impact of subjectivity and maximizes the opportunity for an expanded understanding and enjoyment of opera.

Opera takes the world of literature and history and with the power of music, opens portals to another dimension, temporarily leaving the real world behind. The transformation to higher levels of spiritual experience is brought to life from ancient and modern cultures in new, yet recognizable ways. Opera, from the overture to the last curtain call, facilitates the process in which the observant mind receives a golden boon of illuminated transcendent consciousness. By recognizing the archetypes and mythical motifs in opera, we reconnect ourselves with the method and the magic of storytelling raised to a multi-dimensional medium.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Evans Lansing
Commitee: Meltzer, Edmund, Cranna, Clifford
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology and Mythological Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Performing Arts, Music, Fine arts, Philosophy, Spirituality, Music history
Keywords: Archetypes, Depth psychology, Hero's/heroine's journey, Mythology, Opera, Symbolism
Publication Number: 28156705
ISBN: 9798691282164
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