|Gaston||Jorge de León*|
|Le Comte de Toulouse||Pablo Gálvez*|
|Adhemar de Montheil||Fernando Latorre|
|Emir de Ramla||Deyan Vatchkov|
|A Soldier / Herald||David Lagares*|
|An officer||Gerardo López|
|Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa|
|Coro de Ópera de Bilbao|
|Music Director||Francesco Ivan Ciampa|
|Scene Director||Francisco Negrín|
|Light designer||Tomas Roscher*|
|Chorus Director||Boris Dujin|
|Coproduction||ABAO y Theater Bonn|
|*Debuting at ABAO Bilbao Opera|
When the curtain rises, Gaston tells his beloved, Hélène, that they will have to separate unless the Count of Toulouse (her father and his enemy due to his having killed his father) agrees to their marriage. Isaure comes in when Gaston leaves and the two women kneel down to pray to the Virgin, begging her to make the hatred between Gaston and her father disappear. A sunrise is depicted by the orchestra and then men and women sing in chorus celebrating the end of the civil war. The count and other great men appear. They are about to depart for a crusade. The Count offers peace to Gaston and his family, sealing the end of hostilities by offering him his daughter’s hand in marriage. They are all pleased except Roger, the count’s brother, who incestuously desires Hélène for himself. Gaston swears loyalty to the Count, who is proclaimed commander of the army of crusaders.
An organ is playing inside the chapel. Roger appears, reflecting on the nature of his incestuous love. He then instructs a soldier to find two knights in golden armour and kill the one who is not wearing a white cloak (Gaston). After a warlike chorus celebrating the crusade, Roger awaits Gaston’s death expectantly. Shouts of «Murderer! » can be heard in the chapel and Gaston appears: the Count is the one who has been mistakenly attacked. The murderer hired by Roger accuses Gaston of inciting him to commit murder and the Pope’s legate sends him to exile. At the end of the first act all of them cast an anathema on him.
Four years have elapsed and the action moves to the mountains of Ramla, in Palestine. Roger, in disguise, lives as a hermit and has the reputation of a saint. He is outside his cave when Raymond arrives, dying of thirst. When he tells Roger that there are other people in a similar situation, he rushes to help them. Hélène appears and recognizes Raymond as Gaston’s squire and she learns that her beloved is alive and imprisoned in Ramla. Full of joy she resolves to find him. The pilgrims, thirsty, lament their luck. A march marks the arrival of the Count, who has miraculously recovered from the attempted murder. He asks the hermit to bless him but Roger, whose identity is still concealed, is overwhelmed with guilt and decides to accompany them to the battle in atonement.
In a room in the Emir’s palace in Ramla, Gaston, who has been taken prisoner, is thinking of Hélène and longs to see her. She has let herself be captured so as to meet her beloved again, even though the Emir’s intention is to use her as collateral in his contest with the crusaders. The two lovers sing ecstatically in their reunion and nearly manage to escape to join the crusaders, but in the last minute they are surrounded by guards.
In the third act the women in the Emir’s harem ask Hélène the reason for her sadness and entertain her with a dance. After the ballet, an official reports that the crusaders have started to storm Ramla. Finally they manage to break through the walls of the city and arrive at the harem gardens, where they find Hélène and Gaston. The Count condemns her for dealing with someone who is still an alleged murderer. Later, Gaston is led to the public square of Ramla to the sound of a funeral dirge. The Pope’s Legate informs the crowd that he is going to be executed. Gaston begs for mercy but the accusers do not change their mind: he will be executed the following day. Nevertheless, he asks to be killed as soon as possible and takes pride in his innocence before God.
In the fourth act, on the edge of the crusader camp in Josafat Valley, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Roger is left under the custody of the hermit, who blesses Gaston in Hélène’s presence. Distant sounds of battle are heard, which makes Gaston and Roger hurry to fight in the final assault on Jerusalem. The Crusaders return victorious and praise the bravery of an unknown soldier who has fought courageously and is concealed under his armour. The knight happens to be Gaston. Then they bring Roger, mortally wounded, who reveals his true identity and confesses to his being the perpetrator of the crime Gaston had been accused of. Looking out over Jerusalem, they all praise the glory of the “God of Victory”.