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Leadership in opera : Romance, betrayal, strife and sacrifice

Gabriel, Yiannis LU (2017) In Leadership 13(1). p.5-19
Abstract

What, if anything, does opera tell us about leadership, leaders and followers, that social research or indeed other art forms do not tell us? This is the question I address here. I argue that opera is a highly political genre, able to depict political events involving leaders and followers in sharply illuminating ways. In particular, through the device of the chorus it is able to represent the political actions and sentiments of large multitudes of people in their complexity and ambiguity. It is also capable of portraying many of the contradictions of leadership in a critical light. In particular, I argue that opera offers powerful insights into the psychology of leaders confronted by crisis and strife. It highlights the sacrifices they... (More)

What, if anything, does opera tell us about leadership, leaders and followers, that social research or indeed other art forms do not tell us? This is the question I address here. I argue that opera is a highly political genre, able to depict political events involving leaders and followers in sharply illuminating ways. In particular, through the device of the chorus it is able to represent the political actions and sentiments of large multitudes of people in their complexity and ambiguity. It is also capable of portraying many of the contradictions of leadership in a critical light. In particular, I argue that opera offers powerful insights into the psychology of leaders confronted by crisis and strife. It highlights the sacrifices they make, the distance and isolation that frequently afflicts them, the different ways in which they wield power and handle conflicts and the tensions between their private and public lives. In showing them meting out favours and punishments, opera warns of rulers’ perennial temptation to abuse their power and highlights some of the dark sides of leadership.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
dark side of leadership, Followership, isolation, opera, power abuses, sacrifice
in
Leadership
volume
13
issue
1
pages
15 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:85011627886
  • wos:000396942200002
ISSN
1742-7150
DOI
10.1177/1742715016663302
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d8705349-6b4f-4d0f-9c36-5ed7dcc77de4
date added to LUP
2017-02-15 14:59:54
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:50:07
@article{d8705349-6b4f-4d0f-9c36-5ed7dcc77de4,
  abstract     = {<p>What, if anything, does opera tell us about leadership, leaders and followers, that social research or indeed other art forms do not tell us? This is the question I address here. I argue that opera is a highly political genre, able to depict political events involving leaders and followers in sharply illuminating ways. In particular, through the device of the chorus it is able to represent the political actions and sentiments of large multitudes of people in their complexity and ambiguity. It is also capable of portraying many of the contradictions of leadership in a critical light. In particular, I argue that opera offers powerful insights into the psychology of leaders confronted by crisis and strife. It highlights the sacrifices they make, the distance and isolation that frequently afflicts them, the different ways in which they wield power and handle conflicts and the tensions between their private and public lives. In showing them meting out favours and punishments, opera warns of rulers’ perennial temptation to abuse their power and highlights some of the dark sides of leadership.</p>},
  author       = {Gabriel, Yiannis},
  issn         = {1742-7150},
  keyword      = {dark side of leadership,Followership,isolation,opera,power abuses,sacrifice},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {5--19},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Leadership},
  title        = {Leadership in opera : Romance, betrayal, strife and sacrifice},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1742715016663302},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2017},
}