Der Templer und Die Jüdin

The Templar and the Jewess


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 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.

- Charles Annesley, The Standard Operaglass 13th ed, 1896. transcribed by John Mucci

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Monday, 08-Dec-2003 21:48:46 PST