Announcing BYU Studies Panel Discussion

I just wanted to announce a cool panel discussion that BYU Studies is hosting on Tuesday, November 16 from 12:00 to 4:30 pm at BYU in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium. BYU Studies is printing an entire issue devoted to LDS readings of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). Many of the authors of articles contained in that issue will be presenting some of their material in panel discussions on various aspects of this LDS reception of The Magic Flute. The person behind this project, Dr. Paul Kerry, has a vision of igniting a more informed LDS reception of this opera, as he doesn’t see any significant existing LDS reception of this work. I have been involved in this project and am looking forward both to the issue coming out and to the panel discussion.

Below is the email announcement that BYU Studies has been sending around to subscribers informing them of this panel discussion. All Bloggernackers who are around Provo should drop by. I’d love to meet any of you. (By the way, it’s free.)

Mozart, Mormons, Masonry and The Magic Flute

BYU Studies will be moderating a fascinating panel discussion with faculty from over 10 BYU departments, to be held in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium, Tuesday, Nov. 16th, from 12 pm to 4:30 pm. The first hour will include screen highlights from the opera The Magic Flute, followed by three panel discussions from 1 to 4:30 pm.

The symposium, entitled The Magic Flute: Mozart, Meanings, and Mormons, will be a rare opportunity to hear faculty from all over campus. Disciplines include Egyptology, art and music history, theatre and film, humanities, German literature, history and others.

The discussion will parallel the new special issue of BYU Studies on the significance and appeal that Mozart’s opera has for Latter-day Saints. John W. Welch, director of BYU Studies, notes that “we are proud to publish special issues that take an in-depth look at important and fascinating subjects. In Mozart’s Magic Flute we encounter crucial topics of western civilization. Significantly, Mozart lived around the time of the American Revolution and the birth of Joseph Smith. Latter-day Saints have found and will find many points of interest in this classic opera.”

Paul Kerry, special guest editor of the BYU Studies issue and moderator of the event on Tuesday, affirms that the opera “locates striking parallels to LDS doctrines such as eternal marriage and the exalting potential of divine love.” It can be “read as an allegory of life’s journey,” and a pattern relating to “Latter-day Saint teachings about the plan of salvation.”

Students, faculty, as well as the public are welcome to attend this free event. Below is the updated program.

The Magic Flute: Mozart, Meanings, and Mormons

I. 12:00 to 12:55 Highlights from The Magic Flute

II. 1:00 to 2:00 Panel One
Historical Contexts for Mozart and The Magic Flute

Moderator: Paul Kerry

Hans-Wilhelm Kelling – Mozart’s Life and Times (15 Min)
Gideon Burton – Mormons, Mozart, and Opera (15 Min)
Harrison Powley – Mozart’s Magical Musical Instruments (15 Min)
Michael Lyon – Stage Set Design, Magic Flute Final Scene (15 Min)

Fifteen minutes for questions

5 min break

III. 2:05 to 3:15 Panel Two
Mozart and the Moral World of The Magic Flute

Moderator: Jack Welch

Kaye Hanson – Of Princesses and Dragons: Children and The Magic Flute
(15 Min)
John Fowles – The Magic Flute and Moral Progression (15 Min)
Paul Kerry – The Magic Flute and Masonry (15 Min)

Fifteen minutes for questions

5 min break

IV. 3:20 to 4:30 Panel Three
Receiving The Magic Flute on Stage, Page, Poster, and Film

Moderator: Eric Samuelsen

Lawrence Vincent – Performing The Magic Flute in Vienna (15 Min)
Robert McFarland – Goethe’s Magic Flute Sequel (15 Min)
Dean Duncan – Ingmar Bergman’s Magic Flute Film (15 Min)
Philipp Malzl – Marc Chagall’s Magic Flute Poster (15 Min)

Fifteen minutes for questions


6 Responses to Announcing BYU Studies Panel Discussion

  1. Anonymous says:

    John, that sounds really interesting. I wish I was around so I could attend. How wonderful that you are a panelist!

    Too bad, though, that you won’t be taken seriously at all pursuant to the Jonathan Greene “hand-wave” rule which, if you recall, says that unless you have a Ph.D. in that field, everything you say can be dismissed by a wave of the omniscient Ph.D.-holding hand, regardless of its merits.

    Graduate degrees from Oxford with distinction don’t matter under that rule- only doctoral degrees, preferably from universities in Illinois.

    Come to think of it, the Jonathan Greene “hand-wave” rule would summarily dismiss at least half the panelists, as well as a few of the moderators, with nothing more than a wave of the hand. It’s not enough to be the editor of BYU Studies or the founder of FARMS, you simply must have that Ph.D. to be taken seriously under the “hand wave” rule.

    Luckily, aside from Dr. Greene of course, most people don’t subscribe to that rule- they are willing to listen and judge commentary on the merits.

    At any rate, I wish I could be there to listen and respond. Good luck!

    (At that exact time, I will be listening to a speech by Justice Scalia, who is visiting Ann Arbor on Tuesday, November 16…) 

    Posted by Jordan

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, I think that many people in academia subscrie to Greene’s hand-wave rule. To be honest, I really am not looking forward to this very much because I don’t have a Ph.D. or employ nifty multi-syllabic terms associated with postmodernism or deconstruction. So I’ll come across as simple-minded and unthoughtful. 

    Posted by john fowles

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Magic Flute is one of the few classical works I own and have listed to thoroughly. I like it. And I’m even less astute about these sort of things than the non-Ph.D who will be on the panel. 🙂 Good luck with your part in all of this. 

    Posted by danithew

  4. Anonymous says:

    Danithew, Wump still seems down. What happened? 

    Posted by john fowles

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds great, John. Wish I could be there. 

    Posted by Ronan

  6. Anonymous says:

    John, Wump ain’t down. It’s just different. I’ll be trying to add more to it than just art … but for the time being it is just drawings. 

    Posted by danithew

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