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SephardismSpanish Jewish History and the Modern Literary Imagination$
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Yael Halevi-Wise

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804777469

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804777469.001.0001

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“Rachel, ou l'Auto-da-fé”

“Rachel, ou l'Auto-da-fé”

Representations of Jews and the Inquisition in the French Grand Opera La Juive (1835)

(p.91) Three “Rachel, ou l'Auto-da-fé”

Diana R. Hallman

Stanford University Press

The Inquisition and its connection to Jewish persecution figured prominently in the 1835 French grand opera La Juive by Eugène Scribe and Fromental Halévy. The opera's setting shifted from Goa, the capital of Portuguese India, where the Inquisition had been established in 1560, to Constance (Konstanz), the German city where the Council of Constance of 1414–1418 was held. Despite this change, La Juive continued to allude to the Portuguese (or Spanish) Inquisition in its metaphorical proximity to the Council and as a symbol of the despotism of the ancien régime with which the Catholic Church was closely associated. This chapter examines the significance of the opera's allusion to Inquisition and its symbolic relationship to the Council of Constance, as well as its depiction of the oppression of Jews on the stage in the early July Monarchy in France during the 1830s.

Keywords:   Inquisition, La Juive, Eugène Scribe, Fromental Halévy, Jews, Council of Constance, despotism, Catholic Church, oppression, France

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