Humanizing "Alzheimer's" at the opera: The balance between reductionist and person-centered themes in Strawberry Fields

Daniel George, Susan Williams, Dean Southern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease has emerged as a major theme in recent motion pictures, literature, theater, and visual arts, but has not been a topic of significant import in the music world. Strawberry Fields, a one-act opera about a woman with mild dementia who wanders into the John Lennon memorial in Central Park expecting to see a Verdi opera, offers a surprisingly strong critique of reductionist approaches to brain aging, while also exploring themes central to the person-centered movement. This article contextualizes the decades-old debate between reductionism and person-centered dementia care, and explores how the opera balances elements of both movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-351
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Aging, Humanities, and the Arts
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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