Based on the life story of Rachel, La Juive describes a dislocated society that seeks its salvation in increasing extremism.
As a baby, Rachel, born into a Christian family, is rescued from a fire by the Jew Eleazar. He raises the child as Jewish and does not tell her about her origins. When the girl falls in love with a so-called Jewish artist who turns out to be a Christian fighter, she finds herself in a pernicious vicious circle.
This opera was very successful in the first half of the 19th century, and became the model for what was later referred to as Grand Opera. However, La Juive disappeared from the stage under the prevailing Nazi ideology during the Second World War, and only started to make its comeback after 1950. And rightly so, as this relatively unknown opera remains a key work in the history of opera.
On the occasion of La Juive an international symposium is held on 15 & 16 April on the works of Jewish composers, authors and artists and Jewish motifs in opera.
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On the occasion of the performance of Halévy's La Juive, Opera Vlaanderen, in cooperation with the European Academy of Musictheatre in Vienna and the Jewish Institute at the University of Antwerp, is holding an international symposium on the works of Jewish composers, authors and artists and Jewish motifs in opera.