La Juive

La Juive

Opera by Fromental Halévy



An essential monument of French grand opera, La Juive returns to the stage of the Grand Théâtre almost 100 years after its last appearance.


Love is the most important thing we ever face, but also the most dangerous, the most unpredictable, the most full of madness.

Etel Adnan, Le Prix que nous ne voulons pas payer pour l’amour, Galerie Lelong (2015)

Infos & Cast


Infos & Cast

Opera by Fromental Halévy
Libretto by Eugène Scribe
First performed in 1835 at the Académie royale de musique
Last performed at the Grand Théâtre de Genève 1926-1927

15, 17, 20, 23 and 28 September 2022 – 7.30pm
25 September 2022 – 3pm
Duration: approx. 3h30 with one intermission

Musical Director Marc Minkowski
Stage Director David Alden
Scenography Gideon Davey
Costumes Jon Morrell
Lighting Designer D.M. Wood
Movement Maxine Braham
Choir director Alan Woodbridge

Rachel Ruzan Mantashyan
Eléazar, a Jewish goldsmith John Osborn
Léopold Ioan Hotea
Princess Eudoxie Elena Tsallagova / Romane Golan & Mercedes Arcuri (Sept. 20)
Cardinal Brogni Dmitry Ulyanov
Ruggiero / Albert Leon Kosavic

Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande 

Coproduction with Teatro Real de Madrid

Sponsored by

Partner of the season opening


Continuing our exploration of French grand opera, which began with Les Huguenots, we present another masterpiece of this fascinating and questionable genre, currently enjoying quite the comeback in the opera world: La Juive, composed in 1835 by Fromental Halévy. Although somewhat forgotten today, this Parisian composer was one of the great names in Romantic music and taught composition to the young man who later became his son-in-law, Georges Bizet. La Juive was not only Halévy’s first great success, but also arguably the grandest of all grand operas, with its colossal spectacle and final execution scene, the stuff of operatic legend. Among his many admirers, one is surprised to find Richard Wagner, who wrote an enthusiastic review of Halévy’s operas. For, beneath its sumptuous stage finery, obviously intended for the greater glory of the mindless entertainment of the Parisian bourgeoisie, La Juive deals with very serious themes: religious intolerance, imperialism, fanaticism. Its fictional plot, modelled on Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, is a serious and tragic description of Jewish life in Europe threatened by Catholic fanaticism and forced to migrate constantly. The goldsmith Éléazar and his daughter, the beautiful Rachel, take in a young man who introduces himself as Samuel, but the truth and the price of love will only too soon become clear to the protagonists. Shock! Horror! Samuel is none other than Prince Leopold, not only a Christian but also engaged to Princess Eudoxie. And above all, is Rachel really Éléazar’s daughter, as he would lead us to believe?
American director David Alden, a star in the opera world since the days of Peter Jonas at the Bayerische Staatsoper and the English National Opera, is fascinated by the sumptuous and entertaining structure of French grand opera. His sense of irony and black comedy will serve him well in dealing with the harsh and disturbing plot of La Juive, as it did recently in his production of Les Huguenots at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Is this an enlightened attempt, in an age of French political liberalism, to confront European antisemitism, or a continuation of the dubious themes of The Merchant of Venice or Nathan the Wise? At David Alden’s side to rekindle this complicated, exciting and dangerous operatic artefact, Marc Minkowski seizes his baton as the maestro of grand opera. In the legendary role of Éléazar, sung in the past by the greatest tenors from Caruso to Carreras, and for the first time in his career, John Osborn, an impressive Raoul in our Huguenots of 2020, and in the title role of Rachel, the Jewess, is Ruzan Mantashyan, unforgettable Natasha from War and Peace in 2021.



Program La Juive
All about the opera


La Juive at La Plage

Check out all the various events connected with the production.

45 minutes before the performance

45 minutes before the bells call you into the house, it’s time to refresh your memory and go back to the beginnings of the opera: we offer a brief introduction to remind you what the work is all about and what kind of magical, apocalyptic, critical or hyper-realistic worlds the people behind the production have in store for you. Lickety-split, there’s just enough time to grab some bubbly before you take your seats under the star-studded ceiling of a thousand and one operas!
45 minutes before each performance
Free admittance with performance tickets
Foyer of the GTG

Saturday, August 27 at 5PM

The truth is we aren’t too fond of seeing opera at the movies. We’d rather have it live on stage in all its vibrating emotional loudness. But at the opera, we do like a good movie. In fact, we’re just as keen to watch one as our neighbours at the Cinémas du Grütli, Geneva’s art house cinema. So we developed this new format, Cinéopéra, as both a tribute to and a discovery of the silver screen, where four opera and ballet greats who will be on stage with us this season choose their favorite film to view and discuss. Four very different artists, all exceptional, using film to zoom in (or out) on the productions they designed for us, in an amusing play of intertextuality and inter-referentiality. And perhaps one day, it’ll be hard to tell whether you’re at the opera or at the movies…
Marc Minkowski presents Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick
Saturday, August 27 at 5PM
Les Cinémas Du Grütli
Rue du Général-Dufour 16
1204 Genève

> more infos
En partenariat avec

Monday, September 12 septembre at 6:30PM

The Association genevoise des amis de l’opéra et du ballet presents La Juive
La Juive : Liens du sang, liens du cœur
La jeune Rachel a grandi au sein de la communauté juive, et aime secrètement un chrétien. Mais Rachel ne sait pas tout de ses origines… Son père Éléazar la délivrera-t-il du secret qui plane sur sa naissance, lui qui vécut dans sa chair les pires persécutions ?
Comme peu d’opéras romantiques, La Juive entremêle les douleurs privées et les conflits entre communautés, annonçant à bien des égards les conflits des temps modernes.
Charlotte Ginot-Slacik raconte les secrets d’un grand opéra visionnaire.
Monday, September 12, 2022
At 6:30PM
Théâtre de l’Espérance

> access
> more infos

En coulisse
Saturday, September 17

Haven’t you ever wondered what it’s like on the other side, when the curtain falls on a performance? How does all the technical machinery work? What do the stagehands have to do to get things back into working order? Or maybe just bump into one of the stars of the show?
So let us raise the curtain on all this for you. With every production, we give our patrons an opportunity to come backstage with us, raise their eyes to the flies and take a good look at what’s behind the sets. It may be dark in the wings but there’s a whole lot going on there! And because it’s a really busy place, we can’t really do this more than once per performance run. You will need to book your visit beforehand, so don’t delay!
A member of the theatre staff who can answer all your questions and show you some of the very impressive features of our opera house takes you backstage for free.
After the September 17 performance, a member of the theatre staff who can answer all your questions and show you some of the very impressive features of our opera house takes you backstage for free.
The “En coulisse” tour lasts about 20 minutes, starts 15 minutes after the performance, is free of charge on prior reservation with our box office service by email [email protected].


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Légende photo
Des réfugiés du village kurde de Bajurbuk, près de Bashiqa. Irak, 2016
© Paolo Pellegrin

Photos credits La Juive
Rehearsals © GTG / Carole Parodi

As Elena Tsagallova suffers from illness, the role of Eudoxie will be replaced on stage by Romane Golan and sung by Mercedes Arcuri.

Mercedes Arcuri
Born in Buenos Aires, she studied voice at the Superior Institute of Arts of Teatro Colón and studied conducting at the Catholic University of Argentina. In 2017-18, she was in a troupe at Theater Kiel (Germany) where she performed the roles of Gilda (Rigoletto), the Countess of Folleville (Il viaggio a Reims), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), the Bird of the Forest (Siegfried), Zdenka (Arabella), among others… She made her debut at the Liceu in Barcelona in the role of La Charmeuse (Thaïs) and Marzelline (Fidelio) at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville. She sang Jupiter in La Guerra de los Gigantes by Sebastián Durón at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, under the direction of Leonardo García Alarcón, and Juliette (Romeo and Juliette) by Gounod in Tucumán (Argentina). Her passion for Baroque music has led her to work with ensembles such as La Capilla Real of Madrid, with whom she performed Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Charpentier’s La Messe de Minuit, and with whom she participated in a South American tour organized by the Mozarteum Foundation in 2007.