The Templar And The Jewess

In three acts by HENRY MARSCHNER.

Text by W. A. WOHLBRUeCK.

The subject of this opera is the well-known romance of Ivanhoe by Sir

Walter Scott. The poet understood pretty well how to make an effective

picture with his somewhat too extensive and imposing material.

Its chief defect lies in the conclusion, which is lacking in poetic

justice and cannot be considered
atisfactory, for the heroine Rebecca

who loves her knightly succourer Ivanhoe, is only pitied by him, and so

the difficulty of the situation is not solved to our liking. Apart

from this defect, the opera is most interesting and we are won by

its beautiful music, which may be called essentially chivalrous and

therefore particularly adapted to the romantic text.

In the opening scene we are introduced to the Knight-Templar, Brian de

Bois Guilbert, who has fallen in love with the beautiful Jewess

Rebecca, and has succeeded in capturing and detaining her in his

castle. At the same time Sir Cedric of Rotherwood, a Saxon knight,

(father of Ivanhoe, whom he has disinherited), has been taken captive

with his ward, the Lady Rowena, by their enemies, the Normans.--Rebecca

refuses to hear the Templar's protestations of love, and threatens to

precipitate herself from the parapet, if he dares to touch her. Her

wild energy conquers; and when he leaves her, Ivanhoe, the wounded

knight to whom Rebecca is assigned as nurse, tells her that friends

have come to deliver them all.

The outlaws, commanded by Richard Coeur de Lion, under the guise of the

Black Knight, assault the castle, burn it and deliver the captives.

Poor Rebecca alone falls into the hands of the Templar, who does not

cease to press his love-suit. Brian's deed soon becomes known, and his

brother-Templars, believing Brian to be innocent, but seduced by a

sorceress, condemn Rebecca to the stake. She makes use of her right to

ask for a champion, and is allowed till sunset to find one. Brian

himself tries all he can to save her, but she rejects his aid, for she

loves Ivanhoe, though she is well aware that at this noble knight

loves his beautiful cousin Rowena.

The day has nearly passed, the funeral pile awaits its victim, and no

champion appears. The trumpets sound for the last time, when Ivanhoe

presents himself in the lists to fight Brian, whom the Templars have

appointed as his adversary. Ivanhoe is victorious; Brian falls

lifeless, even before the enemy's sword touches him. All recognize the

judgment of God and Rebecca is given back to her desolate father. At

the last moment King Richard, who has long been absent on a crusade to

Jerusalem, appears on the scene. He announces that henceforth he alone

will govern the land and punish all injustice. Ivanhoe and Rowena are

united by consent of Sir Cedric, who is now wholly reconciled to his

valorous son.