Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award

Spring 4-12-2019

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Music Education-BME




Karen Eckenroth

First Committee Member

Karen Eckenroth

Second Committee Member

Jim Bates

Third Committee Member

Cynthia Laurie-Rose


Music Education, Opera, Fine Arts, Performance

Subject Categories

Music Education | Music Performance


Through this project I sought to examine early opera as well as opera in America today and educate the average person about the value and availability of the genre. In order to do so, I organized and directed a small traveling opera troupe to perform in a variety of locations throughout Columbus, Ohio. The troupe performed at three locations over the course of the fall semester in 2018. With each performance, I worked to educate as many people as possible about opera and its presence in society.

Opera in America is, and always has been, a thriving genre. Both traditional European opera and avant-garde American opera can be found throughout the country. Through this project, it was my hope to create an opportunity for citizens of Columbus, Ohio to become more familiar with this enjoyable genre of entertainment.

To complete the project, I recruited volunteers from Otterbein University’s music department to sing as cast members in an operetta by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Bastien and Bastienne. The piece calls for only three cast members – soprano, tenor and bass – and runs about forty-five minutes long. Bastien and Bastienne is humorous, fun and easy to relate to. We performed the operetta in three locations throughout Columbus: Otterbein University, Kafé Kerouac, and Worthington Kilbourne High School.

This project taught me a great deal about the history of opera, directing a staged work, and the ways in which music can bring all kinds of people together. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to complete this project, and I look forward to graduating with the knowledge and experience I have gained.