The Saracen

an opera in four acts

by Cesar Cui, libretto based on Dumas' play "Charles VII chez ses grandes vassaux"

Date of composition: 1896-1898

First Performed: 1899

Cast of Characters

Archers, hunters, trumpeters, coutiers of the King and Count Savoisy

Setting: 15th century


Yaqoub, who is from Egypt, has been kept in France as a slave by Count Savoisy for 10 years. Raymond insults Yaqoub, who stabs him with his own knife. The Count pronounces sentence, but King Charles VII, who is visiting the Count, pardons Yaqoub.

Meanwhile, the Count has gotten a divorce decree from the pope because his wife, Berangere, is barren. Yaqoub loves Berangere; she asks him to prove his love by killing her husband. This is difficult for him, because Savoisy actually saved Yacoub's life in Egypt.

The Count has just come from his second wedding before going off to battle against the English. Yaqoub kills him, but Berangere poisons herself to be with the Count in death.

[Ershov as Charles VII]
Author: Lyle Neff,
Last Updated: July 1996