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Giuseppe Verdi

Jérusalem

Librettists: Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz
Based on Temistocle Solera's I Lombardi alla prima crociata.

Cast of Characters

  • Gaston, (tenor) Viscount of Béarn
  • The Count of Toulouse, (baritone)
  • Roger, (bass) the Count's brother
  • Hélène, (soprano) the Count's daughter
  • Isaure, (soprano) her companion
  • Adhemar de Monteil, (bass) Papal Legate
  • Raymond, (tenor) Gaston's squire
  • A Soldier, (bass)
  • A Herald, (bass)
  • The Emir of Ramla, (bass)
  • An officer of the Emir, (Tenor
  • Knights, ladiese, pages, soldiers, pilgrims, penitents, and executioner, Arab Sheiks, women of the harem, and people of Ramla.

Setting

Toulouse and Paestine in 1095 and 1099.

Premiere

Académie Royale de Musique; Paris, France; 26th November 1847.

Plot

Roger covets his brother's wife Hélène and orders Gaston's death. The attempt is foiled and Roger's hired assissin implicates Gaston, who was with the Count during the attack, of instigating it. Roger exiles himself in disgrace.

Four years pass and the Crusaders in Palestine meet Roger who is disguised as a hermit. The hermit accompanies the Crusaders into battle. Hélène has been captured by the Arabians and taken to the Emir's palace where she is reunited with Gaston. Trying to escape, they are halted and she is placed in the harem. The crusaders invade the harem and discover Hélène. They denounce her for consorting with Gaston whom they take into custody and later condemn to be publicly humiliated and executed. A battle once again flares up between the Crusaders and Infidels and Gaston and Roger rush off to join the attack. Gaston re-enters later with the Count and together they proclaim victory. Roger, mortally wounded, is brought in. He reveals it was he who ordered the now infamous attack and Gaston is pardoned.

Memorable Music

Salve Maria
Cité du Seigneur
O mon Dieu! Ta parole est donc vaine!
Non … votre rage
Dieu nous sépare, Hélè!

Copyright © 1996, Stephen L. Parker

Trumpet