Dr. Melanie Batoff “An Examination of the Easter Drama at Prague Cathedral in the Fourteenth Century”
In this presentation, I will demonstrate how I, as a medieval music historian, use primary sources to reconstruct the musical, textual, and visual aspects of Easter dramas that were performed in medieval churches. My presentation examines the Visit of the Sepulcher liturgical drama, which portrays the Marys seeking Christ in his tomb and their encounter with an angel who reveals that Christ had risen. I will focus on the version of the Easter drama performed at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague during the fourteenth century, when the cathedral had the distinction of being the seat of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. I will identify unusual features of this version of the Easter drama and argue that these traits helped to vivify the Resurrection accounts and communicate the prestige of St. Vitus Cathedral and its rulers.
The research I undertook in Prague was made possible by The Doris and Ragnvald Ylvisaker Endowment for Faculty Growth.
Melanie Batoff is an Associate Professor of Music at Luther College and is a specialist in
medieval chant and liturgy. She most recently published an article on the Visit of the Sepulcher Easter drama in ROMARD (the Journal of the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society) in
2022. She has presented her research at national and international conferences, and has
participated in the Diploma Program in Manuscript Studies through the Pontifical Institute of
Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, Canada and in Rome, Italy. She holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from
University of Michigan.