|Gusmano||Juan Jesús Rodríguez|
|Alvaro||Josep Miquel Ramón*|
|Ovando||Alejandro del Cerro*|
|Coro de Ópera de Bilbao|
|Music director||Daniel Oren*|
|Scene and lightning director||Jean Pierre Gamarra*|
|Scenography and costumes||Lorenzo Albani*|
|Chorus director||Boris Dujin|
|Coproduction||ABAO, Gran Teatro Nacional del Perú and Opéra Royal Wallaonie-Liège|
|*Debuting at ABAO Bilbao Opera|
In their war against the conquerors, Otumbo and his warriors have captured Alvaro, the Spanish governor. They are about to execute him when Zamoro appears. He is the leader of his tribe and everyone believed him to be dead but he has barely managed to survive the harsh torments inflicted by Alvaro’s son, Gusmano. Despite this, he shows his magnanimity and lets the governor go unharmed. Otumbo reports that Zamoro’s fiancée, Alzira, is being held captive in Lima together with her father, Ataliba. Zamoro departs with the intention of rescuing them and taking revenge on the Spaniards.
In Lima, Alvaro entrusts the governorship to his own son, Gusmano, who wants to make peace with the Incas and hopes to seal the deal by marrying Alzira, who he loves. But Alzira’s heart still beats for Zamoro, and not even her father can convince her to change her mind. Meanwhile, Zamoro has managed to enter the palace, but the joyful reunion of the lovers is interrupted by Gusmano, who takes Zamoro prisoner and, in doing so, breaks the terms of the peace treaty which had been concluded. On his knees, Alvaro begs his own son to save the Inca’s life, as he owes him his life, but Gusmano seems to be undaunted. Only when he is informed that the Inca troops are approaching the city, he decides to free Zamoro and atone for his father’s guilt. The two rivals will meet again on the battlefield.
The Spaniards have decimated the Inca army and Zamoro will be burnt at the stake at dawn. Alzira begs Gusmano to spare his life and he says that if she agrees to marry him, Zamoro will be freed. Distressed, Alzira reluctantly accepts the offer. In the meantime, Otumbo has bribed the prison guards, which enables Zamoro to escape, but when he learns that Alzira and Gusmano are to be married, he immediately returns to Lima, where, dressed in a Spanish uniform, he mingles with the wedding guests. He manages to reach Gusmano and stabs him in the chest. While he lies, dying, Gusmano remembers his Christian faith and not only forgives Zamoro, but also blesses his union with Alzira. With his last strength, he begs Alvaro to give him his blessing and then he dies.