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LA JUIVE, Vienna State Opera , 05 September 2022 - 18:30

Vienna State Opera,  LA JUIVE

Event Details
Category: Operas Event: LA JUIVE Date/Time: 05 September 2022 - 18:30 Venue: Vienna State Opera Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Wien / Vienna (Map)

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Constance in 1414. – Prince Léopold has won against the Hussites. Tedeum is sung and the crowd is overjoyed. Ruggiero, the Mayor, announces that the Pope’s Council, at present in session at Constanse, has decreed festivities in honor of the victory. At the house of Eléazar, the Jewish jeweler, work continues despite the festivities. Eléazar confesses that he does not feel bound by the customs of a church which had had his two blameless sons killed years ago. The mayor, Ruggiero, threatens him with death, which, carried out after the court’s judgment, would give the festivities an added attraction. Cardinal Brogni appears. He thinks he has seen Eléazar somewhere before, asks him his name and his origin. Eléazar reminds him that it was he who banned him from Rome when Brogni was still a servant of government and had a wife and daughter. The cardinal begs him not to speak of that past happiness. He asks Eléazar to forgive him: he would be pardoned, and could be Brogni’s friend. Eléazar rejects this offer of reconciliation. A cavatina is sung, making their opposing viewpoints clear: Brogni expresses the opinion that the grace of God should also be accorded to Jews, Rachel says she does not want to hate the Christians any more if they promise peace on their part, Eléazar wants the ruin of the Christians, even though these promise to leave the Jews in peace, and Ruggiero states that Jews will forever be the Christians’ enemy. Under the name of Samuel, Prince Léopold is Rachel’s secret lover. He calls on her, she welcomes him and invites him to the Passah meal in the evening. Festive rejoicing and a choir drinking song: everybody wants to see the pageant, among them Eléazar and Rachel. Because they stand in front of the cathedral doors, Ruggiero has them taken into custody once again. Lépold intervenes, giving secret orders to Albert, an imperial officer, and the prisoners are released again immediately. Rachel is unable to explain her lover’s influence on the officer, she is full of doubts and worries. The festivities continue.


Passah meal at Eléazar’s House. Léopold is among the guests. Prayers are said, Eléazar distributes unleavened bread, Léopold palms his uneaten share. Rachel sees this and wants to face him because of this behavior. There is a knocking outside. The Jewish meal decorations are removed hurridly, Léopold hides. Princess Eudora enters the house to order Jewelry for Léopold, to whom she is betrothed. After she has left again, Léopold and Rachel arrange for a clarifying talk. Léopold confesses to being a Christian. Rachel is horrified, but because of the danger that her love for a Christian could be discovered, she allows herself to be talked into fleeing with Léopold. Eléazar faces the two of them. Despite his intent to flee, he does not see any traitor in Samuel (Léopold) and is willing to let him go unmolested. But when Léopold confesses to Eléazar that he is a Christian, Eléazar wants to kill him. Only Rachel’s sorrow moves the jeweler to forgive. He wants Léopold to marry Rachel. But Léopold refuses the offer: marriage is impossible, because Rachel is a Jewess. Eléazar vows revenge.


During a festivity in Léopold’s honour, the choir praises his deeds. Eöéazar and Rachel bring the jewels Eudora ordered. Léopold has to kneel in front of his betrothed. When she is about to decorate him with the chain, in the name of the Emperor, Rachel intervenes and tears the chain from her. She has uncovered the real identity of Samuel, i.e. Léopold, accuses him of perjury publicly and of having lived with her, a Jewess, as his concubine. Léopold, conscious of his guilt, does not dare to defend himself. Brogni places a ban on Eléazar, Rachel and Léopold. All three are taken away as prisoners.


Princess Eurora has Rachel brought before her. If she is willing to retract her accusations against Léopold, she could save his life. Eudora presses Rachel, until she yields and, as a Jewess, saves the Christian. Eudora withdraws, Cardinal Brogni comes and offers Rachel the only means for her salvation: Eléazar should recant his Jewish beliefs and be baptized. This proposal is rejected in a rage by Eléazar: he prefers to die than to be baptized by force. But before that, he will take his revenge on a Christian: once in Rome, when Brogni lost his family in a fire, his daughter had been saved by a Jew, but Eléazar will not part with the name of this Jew, it will remain his secret even unto death. Eléazar is filled with doubts as to whether he is permitted to take Rachel to death with him (Scene and Aria): when God gave him Rachel as his daughter, he had sworn to protect her life, now he himself is condemning her to death. But the anti-Jewish outcry by the people strengthens his resolve to take her with him.


Eléazar and Rachel are to be executed before a great crowd. Both are to be thrown into a vat full of boiling oil. Eléazar is angered as he hears that Léopold need not die; due to Rachel’s retraction he is only banned. Eléazar offers Rachel to be baptized, so that she might live. But she holds fast to her decision. Cardinal Brogni implores Eléazar to tell him of the fate of his lost daughter. At the moment when Rachel is thrown into the vat, Eléazar reveals his secret: Rachel is no Jewess, she is his adopted daughter and Brogni her true father.

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