(Prof. Dr. Klaus Pietschmann)

“La caduta del gran capitano Belisario”: The Subject of Belisarius in Opera and Cantata

Next to Otto and Theophanu, the legend of Belisarius is the best known operatic subject with a Byzantine reference. Belisarius was a successful general, at first, who was later accused of betraying Emperor Justinian. The story has become the subject of several opera libretti and cantatas, and the treatment as well as the reception of this literary and musical-dramatic myth formation is to be examined in the respective political contexts.


Contra Turcos: Church Music and the Fall of Byzantium

The invocation for heavenly assistance in armed conflict comes to the fore in the “Missae contra Turcos” that were published and approved by the papacy in the wake of the fall of Byzantium and the growing Turkish danger after 1453. This and the prayer for peace could be be accompanied by the song “L’homme armé” in Ordinarium settings. This PhD thesis will examine the musical contribution to the ritual expressions of these ceremonies and their references to the symbolism of war in Medieval Mass allegories.