Le Comte Ory Synopsis

The Story of Rossini's 2-Act Opera

Performers in Le Comte Ory
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Gioachino Rossini's humorous 2 act opera, Le Comte Ory, premiered on  August 20, 1828, at Salle Le Peletier, home of the Paris Opera in Paris, France. The story is set in 13th century France during the crusades.

Le Comte Ory, ACT I

Having left for the Holy Land to fight in the Crusades, the Count of Formoutiers and his men leave behind his sister, Adele, and her companion, Ragonde, within the castle. The young Count Ory, who burns with desire for Adele, decides to capitalize on the situation. Count Ory disguises himself as a hermit, and his friend, Raimbaud, enters the castle to announce that the hermit will give advice on matters of the heart. One by one, the women, who have been alone in the castle while their husbands and lovers are away, visit and receive blessings from the hermit who has taken up residence near the castle gate. Ragonde arrives and speaks to the hermit. She tells him that the women of the castle have taken vows to live as widows, but Countess Adele remains depressed and melancholy. Before leaving, Ragonde informs the hermit that Adele will come visit him soon, and Count Ory can barely contain his excitement. Moments later, Isolier, Ory's page, arrives with Ory's tutor. Though Isolier is fooled by Count Ory's disguise, the tutor remains suspicious and leaves to retrieve reinforcements. While the tutor is away, Isolier confides in the hermit that he is in love with Countess Adele. After detailing a plan to enter the castle disguised a pilgrim, the hermit agree's to help Isolier. However, Count Ory is determined to steal Isolier's plan as his own.

When Adele seeks advice from the hermit, she is shocked to find out that his prescription is to have an affair. She confesses that she has feelings for Isolier, but the hermit is quick to warn her to stay away from the young page. After their discussion, Adele invites the hermit back to her castle, thankful for his advice. As they make their way to the castle, the tutor returns with backup and unmasks the disguised Count Ory. Adele, Isolier, and the others cannot believe their eyes. News arrives that the soldiers will return home from the Crusade within two days, and Ory begins crafting a plan to siege the castle before they return.

Le Comte Ory, ACT 2

Later that evening, the women in the castle discuss the audacity of Count Ory. As storms rage outside, screams are heard coming from outside the castle walls. Adele and her women see that a group of pilgrim nuns are running towards the castle. They let the nuns inside after they tell them that they are being chased by Ory. However, the nuns are actually Ory and his men, disguised yet again. Ory meets with Adele alone and gives thanks to her while maintaining composure. Before leaving, she orders a meal be prepared for her guests. Meanwhile, Ory's friend, Raimbaud, happens to find the castle's wine cellar. After pouring copious amounts of wine to his fellow men, they start getting a little rowdy, especially when Ragonde passes by. Isolier realizes Ory's trickery and reveals his identity to Adele. They craft a plan to fool Ory instead. News arrives that the men will return from the Crusade that night, earlier than expected. After everyone goes to sleep, Isolier hides in Adele's room and blows out all the candle lights. Ory, who realizes his chances of bedding the countess is becoming very slim, sneaks into Adele's room hoping to steal a few kisses. Suddenly, trumpets play, signaling the men's arrival into the castle. At that moment, Isolier reveals his identity to Ory just as Ory reaches for his hand. Ory, full of fear, can only escape into the night.

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