Slavica Kodish

Phantom of the Opera: A lesson in genuine dialogue

Gaston Leroux's gothic novel, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, and various books and movies inspired by Leroux's tour de force about the musical genius whose repulsive physical deformity forces him to live in solitude have enjoyed enormous global success. Whether it was Leroux's captivating story, Webber's mesmerising music, Hart and Stilgoe's touching lyrics, superb singing and acting, or movie directors' stage wizardry, various versions of The phantom of the opera have exerted a strong appeal on many readers and viewers. In this essay, an argument is made that a very special message of The phantom, hidden amidst love, romance, and a touch of gothic horror, is the message of genuine dialogue. The phantom is a beautiful and cathartic musical that reaches out to varied audiences with its message of confirmation, compassion, and love. This uplifting message gains special significance in an age characterised by a general erosion of ethical principles.

Keywords: confirmation,dehumanisation,genuine dialogue,love for the Other,narratives,the human condition


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Note on the contributor

Slavica Kodish holds a PhD degree in Communication Studies from the University of South Florida. She teaches organisational communication, leadership communication, and related courses at Southeast Missouri State University. Her research interests include organisational trust, narratives, dialogue, and application of communication theory. Her most recent article, Communicating organizational trust: An exploration of the link between discourse and action, was published in the April 2014 issue of the International Journal of Business Communication.