LA JUIVE OPERA - Story
The story of “La Juive” or “The Jewess” starts in 15th
century Rome and tells of a Jewish Merchant named Eléazar, who is forced
to watch the execution of his two sons. Their crime: They are Jewish.
Eléazar’s own life is spared by Chief Magistrate
Brogni, who sends him into exile. On his way, Eléazar
witnesses how Brogni’s estate is burned by an invading
army that leaves only his baby daughter alive. Eléazar
saves her from the flames, adopts her as his own and calls her
They settle in the Swiss town of Constanz. Although tormented
and embittered by his hatred for the Christians, Eléazar
soon establishes himself as a successful jeweler and a loving
Now a young woman, Rachel
falls in love with a man who she believes to be a Jewish artist.
However, when it turns out that he is not only a married Prince,
but also Christian, all three face the death penalty for breaking
the law of the time that strictly prohibits inter-religious relationships.
As Eléazar awaits execution, he is visited by Brogni.
After the loss of his family he had joined the church and risen
to the post of Cardinal. Brogni offers him their freedom if they
choose to convert to Christianity, but blinded by hate, Eléazar
declines the offer. Instead, he informs Brogni that his daughter
is still alive, but refuses to reveal her identity until after
Rachel is thrown into the flames.