Dissertation Index

Author: Kye, Hee Seng

Title: The Third Voice: Anima as Drama in Mozart\'s Operas

Institution: The University of Hong Kong

Begun: September 2011

Completed: May 2015


This thesis investigates the processes through which the characters and their relationship, and the drama take shape in Mozart\'s operas. In his mature operas, there are moments when music seems to say something that is not in harmony with what the words express. This discrepancy suggests that Mozart tells us, through music (vocal or instrumental), the characters\' most private thoughts that are not revealed in the text alone. I call this innermost part of the psyche that is in contact with the unconscious \'anima\', a concept borrowed from Jungian psychology. Through anima, Mozart narrates his version of drama that is distinct from the librettist\'s or the literary source on which his opera is based. That is, the drama Mozart creates and recounts is in the music.

The present thesis proposes music analysis as a way into reading the characters\' anima. I analyse select scenes from Le nozze di Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), Così fan tutte (1790), and La clemenza di Tito (1791), and examine four ways in which anima is manifested in musico-dramatic elements. I start with the most natural elements in which anima may be found in opera, asides and soliloquies, and explore musical manifestations of these silent voices. I also redefine \'tempo\' in specifically operatic ways and show how the timing and pacing of musical elements evoke dramatic meaning. I then consider the connections between anima and Schenkerian idea of background as a way of understanding the relationship of the couples in Mozart\'s operas. Finally, I demonstrate how \'form\' in opera takes life of its own and defines the drama as musical expectations are fulfilled or frustrated. I conclude by discussing the implications of anima in opera studies, suggesting that it allows us to hear the innermost voice of Mozart\'s characters spoken through music—the third voice.

Keywords: Carl Gustav Jung, persona, stage direction, silent voices, staging of anima


0.1 Reading (into) the \'Third Voice\'
0.2 Anima, Persona, and Drama
0.3 Why Mozart\'s Operas?
0.4 Methodological Notes
0.5 Overview of Chapters

Chapter 1 Voices, Anima, and Drama in Opera
1.1 Multiple Voices in Opera
1.2 From Persona to Anima
1.3 Anima as Intentional Object
1.4 Music Analysis as Psychoanalysis in Opera Studies

Chapter 2 Lost in Thought: The Dramaturgy of Silent Voices
2.1 Hearing Silent Voices
2.2 Techniques of Silent Speaking
2.3 Primacy of the Inner World
2.4 Silence as a Formal Unit
2.5 Multidimensionality of Time

Chapter 3 \'Tempo\', Timing, and Pacing in Opera
3.1 Defining \'Tempo\' in Opera
3.2 Musical Duel
3.3 Timing and Pacing, and Dramatic Meaning
3.4 Dorabella\'s Hesitation
3.5 Countess Almaviva\'s Lesson on Rhythmic Dictation

Chapter 4 Singing Head-to-heads: The Dramaturgy of Duets
4.1 Getting Inside the Head
4.2 Figaro, \'Before\' and \'After\'
4.3 Is Figaro Really Mad at Susanna?
4.4 \'They seem a perfect pair\'

Chapter 5 Mind Games: Manipulation of Form
5.1 Hearing Form(s) in Opera
5.2 The Form Conscious of Itself
5.3 Ambiguities of Forms
5.4 Vitellia\'s Ambivalence
5.5 The Art of Repetition
5.6 Susanna\'s Choices

Conclusion: \'Look with thine ears\'



Hee Seng Kye
hskye -at- connect.hku.hk

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